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Catholic male teaching scholarships allowed

The Federal Government says it will still push to amend sex discrimination laws even though the Catholic Education Office agreed on Friday to complement its proposed male-only teaching scholarships with a similar number of female-only scholarships.

The deal between Sydney's Catholic Education Office and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission broke the deadlock on the issue of male-only teaching scholarships, and took little more than 24 hours.

Under the new agreement, the education office has been granted temporary exemption from the Sex Discrimination Act by including an additional 12 female scholarships to the proposed 12 male-only scholarships in the original application, which the commission rejected a year ago.

Br Kelvin Canavan, executive director of Catholic schools in the Sydney Archdiocese, confirmed that as a result of the agreement the office had withdrawn its appeal for exemption from the act.

But the federal Minister for Education, Brendan Nelson, said the Government would still seek to amend the act.

Opposition Leader Mark Latham described the deal as a sensible way of enabling the education office to meet its objective of increasing its number of male teachers.

Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Pru Goward, said the Church's new scholarship scheme would not on its own attract more men to teaching.

Br Kelvin agreed that an additional 12 male-only scholarships was a "fairly small initiative" given that the Sydney archdiocese has a teaching force of more than 6000.

"But I always saw this as one small step; it is a little push to encourage men to think about a teaching career," he said.

Br Kelvin said the 24 new scholarships would be worth $2000 each and would not affect existing scholarships.

Catholic male teaching scholarships allowed (Sydney Morning Herald 20/3/04)

Govt calls for more male teachers (The Age/AAP 21/3/04)
Catholic schools offer male and female scholarships (ABC 19/3/04)
CEO head appeals to minor parties to back male teachers (CathNews 11/3/04)
Peter West: Boys will be boys with role models (The Australian 11/3/04)
Pru Goward: Better pay would lure more men into schools (The Australian 11/3/04)
Warning on male teacher plan (Herald-Sun 11/3/04)
PM stirs pot over male teachers (The West Australian 11/3/04)
Classrooms become political battlefield (ABC 7:30 Report 10/3/04)
Margo Kingston: Howard's affirmative action for men (Sydney Morning Herald 11/3/04)
Latham's Labor has let boys down (The Age 11/3/04)
Learning to teach in a woman's world (The Age 11/3/04)
Parliament to vote on men-only scholarships (The Age 11/3/04)
Latham fails test by rejecting sex law change - Howard (Sydney Morning Herald 11/3/04)
PM says shortage of male teachers in schools (ABC Radio The World Today 10/3/04)
CEO chief backs Minister's action on male teachers (CathNews 10/3/04)

22 Mar 2004