06 Jul 2016, Catherine Gaunt
The funds will come from Montessori St Nicholas charity’s existing bursary scheme in an effort to boost widening participation and offer more balanced role models for children in early years settings.
Historically, about one to four per cent of qualifying students at MCI are male.
The charity hopes that the Male Practitioner Bursary Scheme will continue an upward growth in numbers of men at Montessori nurseries. Three bursary places are available.
Stephen Tommis, CEO of Montessori St Nicholas said, ‘In September 2015, our male entrants made up an impressive 17 per cent of all students studying at MCI. Typically we see only one to four per cent of male students qualifying with us, reflecting a wider gender imbalance across the early years workforce. This group of men, nearing completion of their training together, represents a one per cent overall increase of men in the entire Montessori workforce in the UK.
‘While this is an encouraging sign, we are keen to sustain this level of interest and encourage more men to apply to study the Montessori Method.
‘That’s why today we’re announcing the launch of a Male Bursary Scheme to help support men who are inspired to pursue a career working with young children in the Montessori ethos.’
Sam Williams, who is currently studying to qualify with MCI, said, ‘When I first started studying with Montessori I thought, am I going to be prejudiced for being a man in a majority female workplace? But my view on that has now completely changed.
‘I don’t think there are any specific aspects that a man cannot bring to the role. I think you bring in what you know as a person, regardless of gender, and that you as a person is what’s important.
‘I’m really proud to say that I’ve been treated just as equally as everyone else. It’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to me – to be introduced to this world.’
UK Men in Early Years Summit Meeting
A UK Men in Early Years summit meeting will take place on 11 October by the co-ordinators of Southampton Area Men in Early Years (SAMEY).
It will be held at the London Early Years Foundation London to maintain the momentum of the first national conference held in February.
Since the conference the group has created a national charter for men in early years and forwarded a set of proposals to the Government.