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Sex Discrimination In The (Government) Workplace

I stumbled across these statistics on teacher numbers at the Office of National Statistics.

The fall [in overall teacher numbers] in the 1980s and 1990s was largely driven by a reduction in the number of male teachers (particularly secondary school teachers). Between 1981/82 and 1997/98 the number of full-time male teachers fell from 199,000 to 137,000. The number of full-time female teachers was relatively stable over the period, ranging from 293,000 in 1981/82 to 283,000 in the mid 1980s and early 1990s and rising to 292,000 in 1997/98. From 1997/98 (when the upturn in total teacher numbers began) the rise in the number of female teachers continued and by 2004/05 had risen to 308,000. The number of male teachers had continued to fall, to 133,000 in 2004/05.

From a gender perspective, it seems pretty obvious that when teaching numbers are reduced, the men are preferentially pushed overboard. When overall numbers rise, women are preferentially hired to replace them. It seems pretty clear that there is “institutional discrimination” occurring on a massive scale.

In both nursery and primary schools, 85 per cent of full-time teachers were female in 2004/05. In secondary schools there was less difference between the sexes – 56 per cent of full-time teachers were female.

Since any gender imbalance is, we know, always the consequence of discrimination- even if people appear to be making different life choices, that is because they are living in a discriminatory society- then an 85/15 gender imbalance must be one of the worst in the professional economy. Since these jobs are government jobs, the situation is even more appalling. Is it not the government who are supposed to save us from discrimination?

Where are the lobby groups demanding that something must be done to correct this gender discriminatory outrage?


  1. NickM says:


    Said the meerkat.

    You want my take on this? I am qualified to get a big golden hand-shake to teach “science” or math but I don’t because I would go fucking insane. I have seen the NAZI curriculum and fuck me! Women are more tempted because amongst the graduate class teaching – especially the little-uns – is seen as an adjunct job whilst hubby scales the corporate ladder. Not least because there is no hassle over maternity leave. My Drama teacher (fall over in inchoate merriment if you will) was an Irish Catholic who was perpetually knocked-up. Christ! I haven’t just met them. I’ve fucking dated them! Plan is: Go to a “good” university*, hook someone with “prospects” (likely 2:1+ in math, physics, economics or some such), be the Baby Momma and teach on the side whilst hubby buys the Street Ka and screws the temp.

    I don’t really mean this. I am being mean to someone I really liked and it is nasty of me but the principle holds.

    *Any subject – theology is always good for a larf. Anyone who can sign their name can get onto a theology degree at a Russell Group university.

  2. Laird says:

    Clearly the solution is to raise the pay of male teachers in order to attract more of them to the profession. Simples!

  3. Lynne says:

    But…but…but…it’s coz all men who aren’t gay are sexist paedo rapists, innit! Lefty, Guardianista femiloons are much more suitable.


  4. Lynne says:

    But then again, if they are of the same intellectual calibre as this bloke then maybe we’re better off without ‘em.

    I’ll give brownie to anyone who can pinpoint the science he considers too complicated for his students to understand. Bonus brownie points for anyone catching him mentioning that modern climate change isn’t 100% linked to AGW or that “carbon” (he means CO2) is a very basic, naturally occuring organic compound without which life as we know it would be imposible. Unless, of course, your are a sulphur metabolising extremophile. Or an low grade ignorant cunt who couldn’t teach a teenager how to pop a zit.

  5. Ian B says:

    I could only watch half of that Lynne. It was just too depressing.

  6. berenike says:

    NickM – you missed a chance to buy four fighter jets for twelve pounds.

  7. stedmancinques says:

    I own up. Yes, I am male. Yes, I taught in secondary schools for 35 years. Like Ian B, I couldn’t watch all of this film, just too depressing.
    There is an enormous gulf between those of us now going out of the profession to a comfortable old age with a gold-plated final salary pension, and the new young recruits like the one shown; it is called the National Curriculum. He has known nothing else. I was qualified in the days when great importance was attached to teaching children to QUESTION assumptions, facts and opinions, in other words TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES. I always put the education of the whole child as my number one priority; not just factual content solely orientated towards passing an exam to boost a school’s league table performance, but the development of a well-rounded, well-adjusted and worthwhile human being.
    This attitude, which was as natural to me as breathing, stems from the values inculcated in me by my own education, classical, liberal and Anglican. Despite coming from a working class background, and living in a form of poverty that would today be characterised as third world, I was able to obtain an education second to none. It was at an institution called a GRAMMAR SCHOOL. Thousands of children like me in the 1950′s were able to benefit from a better educational opportunity than had ever been available to bright working class children before:-or since.
    The Russell group universities did not need government threats and dumbed down standards to recruit children from ‘ disadvantaged’ backgrounds then: the majority of Oxbridge students throughout the 50′s and 60′s had attended state schools.
    Holding on to those principles became increasingly difficult through the latter years, especially under the ZaNulab regime; the requirement to abase yourself and scrape your nose along the floor before the Trinity of diversity, equality and political correctness became far more important than the simple objective of doing one’s best to teach something useful and rewarding without the benefit of advice from those who had never done such a thing for two minutes in their lives. The requirement to teach only those things which could be simply assessed and quantified into a league table imposed unbearable stresses.
    ‘Things are gonna change in all directions, won’t be nothing you can’t measure anymore’, (L. Cohen:- ‘I’ve seen the future, baby- it is murder’)
    The simple reason to explain the 85/15 imbalance in primary schools is due to a lack of career structure and monetary prospects for those with the requisite qualifications, the huge bureaucracy of the ‘tick box’ culture, the general aggravation, and, yes, the fear that if you expressed an interest in teaching young children you were only one step away from paedophilia in the eyes of many in this state of permanently induced hysteria in which we live- it’s Salem everyday, folks. Women, by and large being the secondary wage earners were better placed to put up with such things. Men looked for something better.
    My wife was a governor of the local primary school, and was concerned with recruitment. The governors, male and female, were desperate to recruit male teachers to maintain a balance, at a time when older men were leaving, but only females presented themselves as possible replacements. To Harridan Harperson and her ilk, discrimination is only ever a one way street; women can never discriminate against men, black can never discriminate against white, gay can never discriminate against straight and Moslem can never discriminate against Christian. Which is why her equality act is such a crock of shite. If Call Me Dave had any understanding of what being a Conservative meant, he would have binned it within ten minutes of arriving in Downing Street. But perhaps he does……

  8. NickM says:

    You think I’d be seen dead in a MiG-31. For shame!

    Though… God almighty! Seriously fast! I might reconsider. I just bought a bottle of wine for £3.99. Let’s kick the tyres and light the fires. That’s a pair of Saturn-Lyulkas that will never go out. Not ’till I hit Mach 2.5 anyway.


    Geography is for cunts. I did physics which is science with a cock. Hography is for Leo Sayers with their “Capes and Bays” and all hat. I micturate upon them from the stratosphere. Let us not speak falsely now for the hour is getting late. Chemistry is supreme wank. Biology is OK I guess. The only sciences worth tossing off into the pot are physics and mathematics. When Ian B lit off on PPE at Oxford I kept my own council. But seriously what is the fucking point of going to university and not learning vector calculus? Well, that and getting pissed, stoned and screwing the Arts faculty.

    My wife is gonna fucking kill me.

  9. Bod says:

    How the fuck do I write with a Rab Nesbitt accent?

    Nooo wait a minute … waiiiiit a minnnnnnuute!

    Science with a cock! Let’s talk about frigging geology mate!

    I tell you this — I tell you this, boy! We might not have needed that dismal calculus very fookin’ often, but you try subsurface structural mapping armed only with basic trig! Can’t be done boy!

    We’ll take none of this shite from a bunch of pansyboy physicists with pocket protectors and broken spectacles, for we are the pugnacious petrologists, and we bow to no man!

  10. Bod says:

    … agree with the point about why the Arts faculty exists though.

  11. RAB says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, your PE and Games teacher was always the thickest member of staff. But they always needed an academic subject to go along with it to graduate Training college. Well did they go for Physics? Latin? Maths? Economics? No, it was always geography, the easiest subject to scrape a pass in. I rest my case!

    Spot on comment by Sted there. I’m a Grammar School kiddy myself, and we sound to be roughly the same age, if you are quoting Leonard Cohen.

    Yes our Education system got completely screwed around 1970, with the introduction of the Comprehensives and all the “innovations” that came with them, like multiple choice questions, course work counting towards exams etc.

    I haven’t noticed you commenting here before good sir. Please do drop in any time and bring your wisdom with you.

  12. Laird says:

    Sorry, I don’t see Geology anywhere on this chart.

  13. Lynne says:

    Nick, science subjects, as they were once taught in schools, did indeed have a cock. They were rigid and upright with principles, laws and formulae and I practically sweated blood to make the grade when I took them to A Level (another grammar school brat here). Unfortunately, what passes for science in schools these days has not only been castrated, it’s been lobotomised.

    However, I enjoyed geography as much as I enjoyed science. Without it, this erstwhile archaeologist wouldn’t have been able to locate where the bodies are buried…

    Stedmancinques – excellent post. I agree with every word.

    Ian B, depressing but horribly real.

  14. Roue le Jour says:


    Geography is rivers, cities and maps (the clue is in the ‘graphy’), geology is plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes, y’know, cool stuff.

    And as Maureen Lipton says, you got an ‘ology, you’re a scientist. (Apologies to younger readers who have no idea who Maureen Lipton is.)


    But never mind the national curriculum, even with early retirement, what’s the chances you can go thirty years without saying anything inappropriate to a teenager? I know I couldn’t. See discussion over at Anna’s gaff. Just how wet are these kids exactly? I take it the ‘learning to grease your parts’ we had when I was an apprentice would have them all running for their mummies, then, would it?

  15. Laird says:

    Roue, I am quite aware of the difference between geology and geography. The former is a science, which is why I used that word (and not the other) in my post. Did you bother to click on the link, or were you merely interested in displaying your erudition?

    Lynne, if you’re going to castrate something I suppose it’s a kindness to lobotomize it, too!

  16. Ian B says:

    When I was at school, we did sort-of-geology in Geography, stuff about limestone caves and sink holes and so on.I can’t remember which subject we did sedentary rocks and ingenious rocks and so on in, but I think it was also Geography. We also did the nearest thing to economics in Geography- local economies and so on. It seems to me to be a bit of an ill-defined, catch all subject really.


    In geography O Level, we’d been told that you would not be marked down for saying wrong things, but only marked up for saying correct things. One of the questions was, you had to write an essay about a “town you have studied, its industry, etc”. I am as some may have guessed a rapid writer. So I just wrote everything possible; a town with a fishing industry and a steel industry and a motor industry and it was on the coast and by a river and inland and had a warm wet climate ideal for agriculture and surrounded by forests and in Scotland and in England and everything I could think of. Then- I distinctly remember doing this- I sat there at the end and put the name of the town on the title, picked entirely at random. I chose “Hull”.

    I got an “A”.


  17. Bod says:

    I guess I’d snuggle geology down under thr right armpit of the chemist. But since we’re on the subject, when this broke out, it wasn’t XKCD that I thought of, but this (which is odd, because the XKCD link is more on-topic) I guess that says something about how my mind works.

    Oh, and Roue – It’s Lipman

  18. stedmancinques says:

    Thanks for the welcome

    Time for a little further confessio pro vita mea.
    I retired as head of electronics at a boy’s school. Of course I was aware of the BBROYGBVGW mnemonic for the resistor colour code- I learnt it in the sixties, but I wouldn’t be fool enough to use it in a class nowadays; much the same as the mnenomic for bending moment in beams, F/Y=M/I=E/R, which I learnt nearly fifty years ago as Fuck You Mate, I’m Elizabeth Regina. I did, however, make use of RTFQ, where R stands for Read, T stands for The and Q stands for Question!

    Ah, Geology. I was not fortunate enough to take it, unlike my brother Fran. I was too busy grubbing around a Roman Villa with the archaeological society as part of taking History.
    The geological field club was run by a marvellous teacher named ‘Danny’ Prudden. I believe that he had a least one fossil named after him, which he discovered in the cliffs at Lyme Regis, not too far from the Grammar School to which I previously alluded. The thing about Danny was that he couldn’t stand heights unless suitably prepared by a few well-chosen ales in the ‘Cobb Arms’. It was the unwritten rule that the Danny did his preparations in the lounge bar, whilst his VIth form cohort undertook a similar preparation in the public. I can’t imagine how the GTC would regard a half-pissed teacher leading a group of half-pissed young men scaling the cliffs at Golden Cap in these enlightened times. Nobody, however, ever fell off. It must have been the experience gained in a thousand and one other hare-brained adventures which no child would ever be allowed to undertake nowadays.

  19. NickM says:

    Can someone please tell me this mnemonic? Because I’m physicist by training and a computer engineer by practice and R-G colour-blind to the extent that I won’t buy a tie without input from the missus and the RAF told me to get knotted when I was 19. Per Ardua ad Astra!

    You remind me of Molesworth. He got asked to write an essay on “What he might find in Hull”. He wrote, “I dunno, an ear trumpet, whatever you left there…” Frankly the only thing I ever found in Hull (apart from pink telephone boxes – how gay is that!) was a ferry to Nolland called – I kiddeth yea not – the “Norsea” – my mate Mike was more fortunate. He found a very fit bird from Hull who is now his wife and the mother of his child. Hats off to the wedding dress fitters because that was a fucking close call! At the stag do he announced the “condition” of his missus and general hilarity ensued to the extent that he was carried shoulder-high and his kid was almost an orphan before it was born.

    Which would have been a vile state of affairs.

    But then he turned up at my wedding looking like David Warner from The Omen. “Where did you get that tie?” “In the bottom of a wardrobe in Leeds” is never a good answer. It might have been true but true and the good are not quite the same thing.

    Great lad though. If you need French turning into English he’s your bloke.

  20. EndivioR says:

    The teacher in that video just looks scared to me. He looks like a typical 21st Century State School teacher, which is to say, permanently scared, which is to say, balls long since taken refuge in safe hideout somewhere just below the glottis. The stuff about “climate change, such an incredibly big subject, where does one start” was just him going into A Level English Lit Waffle Mode out of sheer funk in the presence of two guys who clearly had violin cases containing fully loaded Class Assessment Forms hidden under the table. The teaching world is a hierarchy of bitter, frustrated losers taking it out on the next rank below. Well maybe all professions are like that but what makes teaching different is it’s a job that’s clearly impossible to do well, i.e. the number of sticks you can beat a teacher with is vast and unparalleled and has been getting more and more so. I was actually impressed by his classroom management, the little you could see of it. It’s important to understand that teachers have to teach what they’re told to, not what they would like to. What his real views are on Climate Change we will never know. The money quote from that video comes about two thirds through, where the Inner Party guy says something like “what’s interesting is how it’s the rich countries that cause Climate Change and the poor ones that suffer… blah blah Irresponsibility… blah blah very difficult to do anything about it when the world is divided into little nation states“. Which just goes to show that the Let’s Dispense with Democracy and Have an Authoritarian World Government Instead meme is now very much mainstream.

    Re: “So I just wrote everything possible…”. Reminds me of O level French. Our teacher gave us lists of Good Essay Phrases for the O level French Essay which was always a narrative you had to write in answer to a supplied situation, usually along the lines of “you are walking along and you see a cat up a tree. What do you do?” Most of these Good Essay Phrases which we were told would get us extra points were actually just rather obscure adjectives. We learned, inter alia and dispensing with the accents, bossu (hunchbacked), un costume croise (a double-breasted suit), borgne (one-eyed), and manchot (one-armed). Naturally, O Level French Essay writing became an exercise in twisting any narrative to allow the appearance of a one-armed, one-eyed hunchback in a double-breasted suit somewhere in the story. I still have it down perfect even after thirty-odd years: Sur-le-champ j’ai vu un homme bossu, borgne et manchot, vetu d’un costume croise. Usually, this unfortunate apparition didn’t actually do anything, e.g. he did not rescue the cat from the tree, but I like to think that his mere appearance was what got me my A in French.

    It occurs to me that none of us in the class knew what a double-breasted suit actually was, though I remember a couple speculating it might be something worn by Barbara Windsor.

  21. Peter MacFarlane says:

    There’s a serious side to this, and it is that when boys see the overwhelming dominance of women in teaching (particularly primary school teaching) and the overwhelmingly pro-female touchy feely non-competing let’s-all-be-nice-to-each-other fluffy project-oriented modularised no-exams nothing-too-difficult-or-challenging non-specialised nature of the modern (state) education system, a fair number of them just give up.

    Clearly, education is for girls, it appears.

    Hence, potential unrealised, people whose abilities are never developed, and huge waste of personal and economic opportunity.

  22. NickM says:

    Teaching eh? Casting false pearls to real swine. I taught GMAT math to prospective MBA students. It was a right fucker’s job. The Chinese just chuckled together. One of them wanted to feel my hair to the hilarity of all East Asia. The Chinese lasses had co-opted a Korean girl and a a Japanese lad who was gayer than a tree full of monkeys. I’m trying to teach how to factorise a quadratic.

    And then there was the Russian. Now he was a cunt. He railed that an English teacher, teaching a US exam was discriminating against him because he was Russian. The fact he came in with snow on his boots was neither here nor there. He was just a founder member of the awkward squad. Sample phrase. “But your English mathematical logic is different from and inferior to our Russian mathematical logic”. “No pal, you’re just thick. And I couldn’t give a flying fuck who is paying for this course or how Organizatsiya your Dad is but if you want your dream MBA at Chicago business school then you’d best shut the fuck up and learn some elementary mathematics”.

    That’s what I should have said. I didn’t. The simple truth is the GMAT students knew I was a mere postgrad on bugger all money and I needed 18 quid an hour (contact time – not including marking and prep) more than they needed me because they were all loaded. They had no respect for me. Or for the class. The class was an adjunct to what they were in Leeds for – learning English to go to a US business school. The lady who employed me did so because they were losing ‘em because they couldn’t do the sort of O-level style math needed for GMAT. Yes, Sergei, Chicago business school will expect you to be able to solve simultaneous equations. It was low-grade stuff. No Calculus or even trig. So yeah, I taught math for the school of languages. In the university which has the second largest school of math in the country.

    I marked for them. That was a thankless task. It also involved a Russian. Another Sergei. Anyway. I’m marking for his course on complex analysis (about as much fun as it sounds) and his answer sheet is deranged to say the least (that superior Russian logic I guess) and I go see him. I suppose it is testimony to my boyish good looks but he is outraged. He reckons an UG has got his paws on the answers. He nearly lamps me one. Then he gets it and I have a legit question about the mark scheme for Q4. More to the point, “I am the Nick”. I had to say that three times, “I am the Nick”. “So you are the Nick?”. “Yes, I am the Nick”. “The Nick!”. (“Yes, I’m marking your complex analysis homework you deranged bolshie fucker!”).

    He was very apologetic, verging on the homo-erotic. “I know I am the Nick now and we know the order of the pole in Q4 so I’ll be off now…”

    Russians eh?

  23. NickM says:

    The only person I have ever heard make exactly that point was an Indy reading Green vegan lesbian rad-feminist. Not a great lesbian otherwise she wouldn’t have shagged me. Good shag mind and great tits. Yeah, A. thought the nedumakashun system was skewed to girls and expressed it pretty much exactly as you did.

  24. Ian B says:

    I often wonder how many real lesbians there are in the world. The lesbian feminist cohort seems to consist of erotophobic heterosexuals who use the label “lesbian” because it sounds cooler than “terrified of penises”, or unfortunate young women who’ve been persuaded they ought to be lesbians on wimmins study courses.

    I knew one out-and-proud lesbian- an actress who was the understudy on a long running show when I was in the West End. She’d had three abortions, because when she was drunk- which was a very common occurrence- she’d invite her post-pub cab drivers in for rumpy pumpy. In fact I even slept with her once. In the literal sense. I was so drunk, I passed out after about 20 seconds.

    Actually I looked her up on the web recently and found she’s still playing that same part she understudied 20 years ago, in tiny productions in, er, pub theatres.


    Peter Macfarlane, indeed. That was the kind of undercurrent of this post and was why I bumbled into those statistics in the first place. The shape of the graph- downslopes mirror the male graph, upslopes mirror the female graph- look a lot like a kind of “gender cleansing” is going on.

  25. NickM says:

    “I often wonder how many real lesbians there are in the world.”

    You are not alone. When I told my office mate I’d shagged A. he fell off his chair!

    “But isn’t she?” he said.

    “Apparently not!” I countered.

    Well I shagged her.

  26. RAB says:

    Well the future may very well look like this…

    Long read though.

  27. Roue le Jour says:

    OK Laird, I give up, no more attempts at puerile humour.

    Bod, Yeah, funny about that. I switched off the computer, made a cup of coffee and settled down to re-read Thief Of Time, it being a pleasant Sunday afternoon, and a little voice in the back of my head said “Lipton?” I thought briefly about posting an apology, then I thought, sod it, somebody else’ll fix it.

    Sorry about that, I think that’s what they call a “Senior moment”.

  28. Laird says:

    OK, Roue, if that was humor (puerile or otherwise) I guess I just missed. But if that was the intent I apologize for the snippy reply.

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