Three thousand schools have no male teachers, as primary schools have just one male teacher for every six women

Lessons are being taught in thousands of primary schools which have become “No Sir” environments.

Recruitment drives to attract more men still leaves one male teacher for every six women at this level.

Critics argue that young boys – aged 4 to 11 – are finding their role models away from school.

Figures released by the Department for Education show there are 3,764 primary schools in England lacking a full-time male teacher.

A further 353 primary school pupils have a male teacher – but they don’t work in a permanent role.

Figures from the Department of Education show there were 32,700 male teachers in primary schools at the last count compared to 182,000 women.

There are also just 8,700 men working as teaching assistants compared to 167,600 women in the same role.

A breakdown shows Essex has 445 primary schools but 134 are without a male teacher followed by Derbyshire with 349 schools but 131 without a man employed on the teaching staff.

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran said: “We need a balanced workforce with many more male teachers to be role models for young people.

“This government has an atrocious record on teacher recruitment and retention which shows no signs of getting any better.”

She added that teachers need to be paid properly “if they’re going to reverse this worrying trend”.

James Bowen, director of National Association of Head Teachers Edge, said: “It’s important for all children to experience positive male role models, and to understand that men can be interested in education, science or reading, just as much as in football.

“A diverse teaching workforce can help all children, especially those from deprived backgrounds, to visualise their futures and fulfil their educational potential.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We want to see a teaching profession that prides itself on promoting a diverse workforce that supports the progression and retention of all teachers, regardless of their gender.

“We are continuing to build an inclusive environment where all teachers and pupils can feel valued and be themselves.

"Each part of the school system can play a valuable role in supporting the progression of all teachers.”

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