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PM signals backing of Catholic push for more male teachers

Prime Minister John Howard has indicated that the Federal Government may move to change the Sex Discrimination Act to allow Catholic schools to discriminate in favour of men to correct a gender imbalance among teachers.

Catholic Education in New South Wales was last year denied permission by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission to offer male-only scholarships for primary school teacher training.

The Sydney Catholic Education Office wanted to lift the low number of male teachers in primary schools, a factor often blamed for poor literacy rates among boys. But it was denied permission, with the Commission ruling such a move would be in breach of the Act.

Mr Howard last night described the situation as "odd", and indicated the Government might change the Act if a legal challenge to the ruling was unsuccessful.

"The Sex Discrimination Act, in my mind, was never intended to stop that happening," he said. "It's about preventing women being discriminated against, and we're all in favour of laws that do that.

"Perhaps that underlines a flaw in the legislation. But anyway we'll see what comes out of it."

PM backs men-only move on teachers (The Courier Mail 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)
Editorial: Finding ways to train more male teachers (Courier-Mail)
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
Male teachers drop out of NT schools (Northern Territory News 27/2/03)
Decline in male teachers continues (ABC)
School's in for male teachers (The Mercury 27/2/03))
A minority male makes teaching his primary aim (The Age 4/3/03)

2 Feb 2004