Paedophile Fears Hit Teaching Skills Pool

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Northern Ireland is facing a shortage of male teachers because they fear being labelled as paedophiles, a union claims.

The Ulster Teachers Union says that almost 90% of students on one primary teaching course were female.

The body has called upon Education Minister Angela Smith to address the risk to the learning skills pool.

BBC education correspondent Maggie Taggart noted the prejudices which may be keeping males from training as teachers.

“They may worry that they’ll be accused of being paedophiles or they may view teaching as a nurturing profession best suited to woman,” she said.

She added that salary or working conditions may not be enough to enlarge the skills pool.

“The union also says men feel the pay is not high enough or that they’re likely to face hassle from parents who know their rights but not their responsibilities,” she said.

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