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Labor rejects PM's resolve to back Catholics on male teachers


Labor community relations spokesman Lindsay Tanner has declared that an ALP Government would not change sex discrimination laws to allow schools to recruit more male teachers.

Prime Minister John Howard has signalled he will act immediately to introduce reforms to the Sex Discrimination Act if an April Catholic Church court appeal fails to overturn a legal ban on a recruitment campaign targeting male teachers.

Catholic schools want to advertise male-only jobs to address a gender imbalance that results in many boys having no male teachers during their primary education.

A spokesman for Education Minister Brendan Nelson said the Government would wait until the outcome of the case in April before announcing any action.

The dominance of female teachers is adding to a shortage of male role models that is proving to be a major source of disadvantage for boys.

Opposition Leader Mark Latham highlighted the problem last week, but Mr Tanner said allowing a discriminatory recruitment campaign would be "a very simplistic response to a very complex problem"

"The issues are broader than that," he told Channel 7. "There is an issue in primary schools, but somehow mandating that you have specific positions for male teachers - I don't think is the answer."

"Many of the mechanisms which our society traditionally has had for helping young people make the transition to adulthood have either broken down or have been eroded substantially.

SOURCE
No new law for male teachers: ALP (The Australian 23/2/04)

LINKS
Interview: Lindsay Tanner (Channel 7 Sunday Sunrise)
Law may be changed to get more male teachers (Sun-Herald 22/2/04)
Teacher plan under fire (The Age 23/2/04)
Government's boy plan 'too simple' (Sunday Mail 22/2/04)
Lindsay Tanner MP
PM signals backing of Catholic push for more male teachers (CathNews 2/2/04)
Sydney CEO welcomes moves to change anti-discrimination laws (CathNews 20/5/03)
ACU forum to link male teacher shortage to fear of intimacy (CathNews 21/10/03)
Shortage of male teachers: recruitment tactics (ABC Radio The World Today)
Role call for male teachers . . . is it the answer? (The Australian)
Catholic Education Office Sydney
Catholic Education Commission NSW
Federal Minister for Education
Queensland Union rejects Catholic call for more male teachers (17/3/03)
Male teaching 'bribes' under fire (The Sunday Age)
Sydney CEO seeks review on male teacher ruling (13/3/03)
Editorial: Gender imbalance (Catholic Leader)
Teaching as a vocation (Catholic Leader)
Queensland schools to press ahead on gender balance (6/3/03)
Human Rights Commission rejects Catholic male teacher solution (5/3/03)
Male teachers - Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Media Release from Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson, 3/3/03)
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission - Notice of inquiry: Application for exemption under Sex Discrimination Act section 44: Catholic Education Office Scholarships for Male Trainee Teachers
Sydney CEO seeking discrimination law exemption (21/11/02)
Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (NSW) | Submission to Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Enquiry
Decline in male teachers continues (ABC)
A minority male makes teaching his primary aim (The Age 4/3/03)



23 Feb 2004