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CEO head says male teacher win just a start

While pleased with this week's Howard Government announcement of 500 scholarships to counter the nationwide shortage of men in schools, Sydney Catholic Education Office Executive Director Br Kelvin Canavan says the status of the teaching profession generally needs to be elevated.

He told ABC Radio's PM that about 30% of teachers who begin in teaching in Catholic schools leave within the first five years.

"Sadly, teaching doesn't figure highly in the professional pecking order, particularly amongst some males," he said. "So I would not like to see this matter of scholarships be seen as the answer to a national problem."

He spoke of the "steady decline" in the number of male teachers in Catholic primary schools, with the proportion of male teachers in the Church's NSW schools down to 14%.

Two years ago, the Sydney Catholic Education Office sought approval from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission to offer male-only scholarships because the vast majority of those on offer were being won by women.

The Commission said the CEO could only offer 12 male and 12 female scholarships.

Federal sex discrimination commissioner Pru Goward has accused the Government of social engineering following this week's announcement of the $1 million scholarship program, which will force changes to the Sex Discrimination Act.

Govt accused of 'social engineering' over male-only scholarships (ABC Radio PM 5/5/04)

Grant to lure male primary teachers (The Australian 4/5/04)
Male-only teaching row (The Advertiser 4/5/04)
Canberra offers male student teachers $1m (The Age 4/5/04)
Govt proposes male-only scholarships for teaching (ABC Radio PM 4/5/04)
Million-dollar plan to get men teaching (The Age 3/5/04)
$2000 tax-free lure for men to teach (AAP/Sydney Morning Herald 3/5/04)
Catholic male teaching scholarships allowed (CathNews 22/3/04)
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)

5 May 2004