Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)

Gender balance of teaching workforce in publicly funded schools

This research project explores the reasons for and solutions to the current imbalance of men and women in the teaching profession and the recent apparent decline in the number of men. The study is funded by the Scottish Executive Education Department and conducted by the Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID) and Research Staff at the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh.


It will look at:

  • the experiences of other countries in recruiting and retaining male teachers
  • barriers experienced by men in teaching
  • attitudes of male and female undergraduates to teaching as a possible career
  • the current selection process for initial teacher education courses for factors which might deter or disadvantage male applicants
  • the views and attitudes of leaders and others involved in delivering ITE on issues relating to the growing gender imbalance

The research will be conducted between January and July 2005 and we will be gathering the views of head teachers, representatives from the Scottish Executive, HMIE, local authorities, the GTC, teacher unions, those responsible for the delivery of ITE.

Focus groups and interviews will be conducted with existing teachers and returners to teaching, (male and female) in different sectors, stages of career and parts of the country about their reasons for staying in and/or returning to teaching.

Former teachers (male and female) will be asked about their reasons for leaving teaching.

A survey of undergraduate students in three universities will focus on (male and female) undergraduates’ perceptions of teaching as a possible career choice and the values, beliefs and personal priorities which underlie these choices.


Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED)

Start date January 2005
End date June 2005

Project team

Professor Sheila Riddell, Professor Lyn Tett, Dr Anne Stafford, Alan Ducklin

Research outputs