Tett, Lyn and Riddell, Sheila (2009) Educators’ responses to policy concerns about the gender balance of the teaching profession in Scotland. Journal of Education Policy, 24 (4). pp. 477-493. ISSN 0268-0939

Concepts of gender equity are changing and the necessity of actively developing a fairer gender balance is now enshrined in the Gender Equality Legislation implemented in 2007 that required public bodies to positively promote equality. This study examines, from the perspectives of educators, their understandings of gendered inequalities in teaching and the issues that they raise for the profession. Overall, respondents did not see the numerical domination of women as a problem but instead they saw the benefits of maintaining the diversity of the teaching profession, since all pupils could benefit from the range of interests and attributes offered by both women and men. Respondents were both embracing and disputing popular discourses about the gender balance in teaching but argued strongly that there should be no discriminatory barriers to the profession. It is concluded that a policy approach to gender equality should address the material and social disadvantage experienced by those working in female-dominated professions like teaching and this would ensure people would be enabled to exercise gendered preferences without penalties or unfair advantages in income or status.

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