Gender biases in the education system in the UK

Gender biases in the education system in the UK

Gender inequality and gender preferences

Gender inequality is still prevalent in all streams, and education is no exception when it comes to gender biases. Sexism in the education system is a widely debated topic, and unfortunately, the bias still is a consistent challenge. The issue is deep engraved in the system, supported unabashedly by the long followed norms and cultures. Gender inequality not only poses a hindrance to equal participation in education, but also leads to inequality when job prospects surface. A look into the gender biases in the education sector of the UK is explained in the following section.

Gender equality in UK educational system

While gender inequalities have been long associated with the discrimination shown to the women folks, a specific instance of gender study favouring women have popped up recently. An interesting statistical fact establishes the woman power in the curriculum milestones that shows the evident progress of girls ahead of boys. In a 2015 study about test scores, nearly 85% of girls had achieved a level 4 as compared to 77 % of boys of the same age group. The trends of women superiority in curriculum milestones have been observed consistently through the primary until GCSE levels. Not only that, but studies have also established a women superpower in the university levels where women surpass men in applying to universities by a whopping 35 %. This gap further widens for students belonging to lower socio-economic backgrounds, where 58% more female students apply for universities than male students.

Well, this good news does not establish the fall of the age-old patriarchal system, but the achievement does indicate the positive changes happening to our machismo society. While scoring stats are encouraging many instances of sexism is still prevalent across educational institutions in the UK.

Sexism in institutions

Forays of social media and OTTs are being regarded as the significant reason for objectifying female students in an educational environment. About three-fourths of female students in the secondary level have been subjected to sexist comments inside the schools, which is growing as a worrying case of gender equality in UK. Most of these female students undergo worst mental disorders as they are unaware of whom to reach out when they face sexist comments out of classrooms.

Not surprisingly, the male students are also compelled to behave and act in ways they are asked to, feel the stress in educational institutions. Schools must devise a way to keep a tight rein on the social media influence and enhance mechanisms of safeguarding and reporting policies. Students must be encouraged to come forward if they are subjected to sexism at school. There has been a prominent call to educate pupils at schools about gender respect in a broad social context.

Gender issues in the education profession

There is a larger issue of gender equality in UK’s education system in the way teaching staff are employed. It is found that only 15 % of primary school teachers employed in UK schools are male and they occupy only 38% in the secondary levels. Some schools have hardly any male members except in the higher-ranking roles such as the head of Department or a headteacher. Also, male staff are preferably appointed as STEM or PE teachers. It is alarming to note that only a handful percentage of men like to take up teaching as a profession. The Department of education is rolling out strategies to encourage and retain male teachers in a broader range of subjects and grades.

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