Girls need science mentors, says teachers union chief Max Hyde


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The Independent Online

Mentors could encourage girls to take up science careers in a campaign established by the new president of the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

Max Hyde, a science teacher in Warwickshire, wants to see more mentors appointed to schools to discuss career options with pupils and promote science options to girls, who are more likely to drop the subject in the sixth form.

Ms Hyde, who was installed as NUT president at its annual conference in Brighton at the weekend, said: “One of the problems is that, with so many targets and so much accountability, teachers no longer have the time for discussions with pupils about future options.

“We want so much of a percentage to get GCSE A*- to C-grade passes. What you can do is limited. There is not lots of space in the curriculum.”

Ms Hyde said it was also necessary to counter gender stereotyping. “I’d love to see more girls going into construction and more boys going into caring professions,” she said. “I think of my father-in-law, who had to have carers come in to dress him.

“Wouldn’t it have been wonderful and better if he had had male carers to do that?”