Deputy Headmaster and Head of Preparatory School

Mr Jeff Symms

The importance of gender balance in teaching

Recently the courier male published an article on the importance of having both men and women teaching in our schools.  Macquarie University’s Dr Kevin McGrath said that research has shown that gender diversity among teachers was crucial for children’s gender knowledge, their sense of belonging and to challenge harmful stereotypes.   He goes on to say that both mothers and fathers, sons and daughters all report a desire for both male and female teachers in schools.

I have long shared the statistic that only 17% of teachers in Australian Primary Schools are men – and sadly the latest report brings even worse news with that figure now down to a disappointing 15%.  In many primary schools in Australia there are no male teaching staff at all.  This proportion of male teachers within the profession is predicted to fall even further, and it is a regrettable situation.

The quality of the teacher is, of course, far more important than their gender, but I do think that it is very important for boys to have a range of really good male role models in their lives, men that they can learn from and aspire to be like.  Male family members fill this role primarily, but supplementing this with other male relationships that can offer support to a boy developing and growing into a young man is really positive.

At TSS Preparatory school we enjoy a very healthy gender balance in our staff.  Across the Prep School campus

This is in part because we are the only single-sex boys’ school on the Gold Coast, and good male teachers who are passionate about advancing boys’ education are attracted to working within an all boy environment.  Additionally, the reputation the school enjoys for academic success, sporting prowess and musical talent is very rewarding for all teachers and so from a small pool of male primary school teachers, we do receive a disproportionately high number of male applicants, from whom we can choose the very best.

Currently, across the whole of the Preparatory Campus, 52% of our teaching staff are are men, and when you consider the statistics around classroom teachers in Years 3 – 6, 80% of our teachers are men.  These are strong numbers and I am delighted that this is the case.

Additionally, we also enjoy the considerable benefits our outstanding female teaching staff bring to the school and to our boys.  These women really know, and understand, how boys’ learn and appreciate the best ways in which to provide an engaging program of learning for them .  Often they are mothers of boys, or from families with brothers, or those who have seen first hand the disengagement of boys from schooling in other settings and have a passion for boys’ success.  For whatever the reason, these terrific female teachers have an enthusiasm for teaching boys  combined with a capacity to forge strong, and authentic relationships.

Friends of Prep Christmas Carols

Don’t forget that the highly anticipated Friends of Prep Christmas Carols event is on this Sunday, November 17.  Those who miss out are always disappointed, so book your tickets now through 

The event promises to be spectacular as always and I give huge thanks to the Friends of Prep Commitee and their willing helpers to make it so.   Also thanks to major sponsor Morgans Financial for their support of this event and more broadly their ongoing support of our school.

I look forward to seeing you all there.

Car park confusion!

Just a reminder that the arrangements for use of the main student pick up/drop off car park adjacent to the oval, is pretty simple.

  1. If you are using the drop off/pick up zone -ENTER VIA LUPUS STREET.
  2. If you are going to park your car in the car park – ENTER VIA BROLGA AVENUE.

If everyone sticks to this simple arrangement it assists traffic flow greatly as it means that no cars have to cross over and change lanes – which is the main cause of delays.

Please use the right school entry point for your purpose.

And a reminder that boys should not be dropped off, nor picked up in the car park immediately in front of the school hall.  Unless a boy is injured or carrying a very large musical instrument, he should be dropped off in the pickup/dropoff zone.


While we have remained measles free so far, it is important to stay vigilant.  We recently received the following notification from Queensland Health:-

Vaccination is the best protection against measles disease
Measles is currently circulating in the community in parts of SEQ.
Measles is a highly infectious illness that can have serious complications such as pneumonia (lung infection) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

You need two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine to be protected.

Check your own and your child’s vaccination history with your GP today.

Early symptoms include fever, runny nose, tiredness and sore, red eyes. This is followed by a blotchy red rash, which often starts on the face before becoming widespread.

For more information, visit the Queensland Health website or call 13HEALTH.

Important dates for Term 4

Mark you calendar with the following important dates, you don’t want to miss out!

  • Sunday 17 November           Friends of Prep Christmas Carols.
  • Friday 22 November            Presentation Assembly Yr 3-6 12.00pm
  • Monday 25 November         Preschool Christmas Concert   10.00am
  • Tuesday 26 November        Reception to Year 2 Celebration of Achievement.  9.00am
  • Wednesday 27 November  Year 3 – 6 Celebration of Achievement.  9.00 am    Year 6 Gradual Service.  6.30pm St Alban’s Chapel
  • Thursday 28 November     R-6  Christmas Chapel service  9am .    Year 6 Final Assembly and Honour Guard.  1.oo pm

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