England is suffering from a shortage of suitable applicants for male teaching jobs, especially at nursery and primary school levels.
That is the stark conclusion of a new report by the General Teaching Council for England, which showed that more than a quarter (27.2 per cent) of primary schools still don't have any male teachers, only a slight improvement on last year's 27.8 per cent.
At nursery level, the figures are even more shocking, with only 48 male teachers – across the entirety of England – registered.
Men were found to make up a larger proportion of the teaching staff at secondary schools, 38 per cent compared to just 12 per cent at primary school level.
But overall, the figures indicated that women make up more than 75 per cent of the registered teaching profession in the country, taking into consideration those working at state schools and teachers from private schools who have chosen to register with the council.
Commenting on the figures, education secretary Michael Gove said that it is important to improve the supply of male teachers, as children will otherwise be left with a lack of male role models during their formative years, particularly if they do not have much contact with their fathers.
Mr Gove explained that it is vitally important young children are exposed to male authority figures who can show "strength and sensitivity".
Highlighting the obstacles facing male teachers, he suggested that "one of the principal concerns that men considering teaching feel is the worry that they will fall foul of the rules which make normal contact between adults and children a legal minefield".
"By changing the rules to make it clear that adults can exercise their own authority and judgement in every aspect of classroom management we can help reverse the flight of men from primary education and bolster still further the strength of the workforce," he said.