Wyndham Primary Academy returned to BBC Breakfast this week as Early Years Lead, Ross Christie, joined the team to explain that only 2% of teachers in Early Years are male.
Ross was contacted by journalist, Peter Ruddick, who recognised his passion for Early Years education after stumbling across lesson photos on social media.
Ross was invited to BBC Breakfast’s Manchester studio on Wednesday morning to discuss how to encourage more men into the profession.
Spencer Communications sat down with Ross after his interview.
He told us: “(Early Years) is seen as a very ‘motherly environment’, with lots of colouring and snotty noses…This stigma needs to go. Everything that a child does in Early Years has a purpose behind it.”
Ross was joined at the studio by Elaine Sagar, CEO of The Sunflower Group, who manages a number of nurseries in Greater Manchester.
When asked what made Ross want to be in the classroom, he replied, “It was through witnessing my brother teaching – I knew it was for me.”
Ross soon began his career at Wyndham Primary Academy in 2014 and recalls the day Spencer Academies Trust appointed him as the Early Years Lead: “they wanted me to create a ‘buzz’ so that children were excited to come to school, and that really stuck with me.”
From his years of studying and his experience in Early Years education, he recalls, “there were no real male teachers who were inspirational role models for Early Years.”
“Every child needs a role model, and it’s so important that children in Early Years have that male role model in education who they can look up to on a daily basis.”
The National Association of Headteachers is calling for government action to encourage more men to get into the profession. The current figure for male nursery and reception teachers in the UK currently sits at only 2%.
Ross’ passion for his job is clear: “Every child deserves an outstanding education and a world-class education, and that’s what we can provide. It really is the most rewarding job, seeing (the children) grow as individuals. Early years are the starting blocks for a child’s education and we have the impact as teachers to create life-long learners. It’s so rewarding and so incredible.”