Helping Boys Do Better In School

Taking action to give every boy the best possible education and start in life will make our city a better place for everyone –

To help us help boys do better at school we will create a citywide taskforce of people and organisations who are committed to addressing boys unique needs and getting more men and fathers involved in the day-to-day running of local schools.

The overriding objectives of the Improving Male Educators Taskforce will be to help us transform the way the world works for everyone – including men and boys – by helping us to:

  • Identify and highlight the areas where boys are underperforming and identify what action can be taken
  • Identify the causes of boys’ high exclusion rates and take action
  • Identify the key barriers to involving more men in education and take action to tackle these barriers
  • Identify the key barriers to involving fathers in education and take action to tackle these barriers

One specific area of international and national concern is boys’ literacy. The EU’s equalities strategy states that “policies should address gender-related inequalities that affect boys and men such as literacy rates” and according to the Every Child A Reader Trust, boys are twice as likely to be poor readers than girls.

We hope the education taskforce to help us develop a year round Reading For Men And Boys campaign that supports boys of all ages to improve their reading skills and is specifically designed to involve more men, fathers and older boys. A key focus for the group could also be helping to extend the reach of national Fathers’ Story Week in June that we helped pilot in 2010.

The ten education objectives we’d like the Educating Men Network to consider delivering are:

Increase boy’s literacy by developing and delivering a citywide Reading For Men And Boys Campaign
Examine why the majority of pupils excluded are male and identify actions to tackle this issue
Identify actions to increase father involvement in schools
Identify ways to make the adult population in schools more representative of men
Identify ways to support and develop sport and physical activities for boys in schools
Support the development of the Aim Higher initiative A Suitable Boy and similar interventions to widen boys’ access to university
Identify opportunities to develop relationship programmes that are relevant to boys
Develop a Health Boys Healthy Schools initiative
Support the development of a Boys Talk Network that ensures all boys have access to appropriate emotional support in schools
Identify opportunities to promote parenting/dad skills to boys in schools

Glen Poole is UK co-ordinator for International Men's Day, Director at the consultancy Helping Men and news editor of insideMAN magazine. Follow him on twitter @HelpingMen or find out more about his work at

Posted in ACTION, Helping Boys Do Better, OUR STRATEGY 2011-2014
4 comments on “Helping Boys Do Better In School
  1. […] HELPING BOYS DO BETTER: Research on boys’ literacy reveals that boys who are poor readers are two to three times more likely to be obese when they grow up – so helping every man and boy read can help us tackle obesity. […]

  2. […] HELPING BOYS DO BETTER: There is growing concern about the performance of boys in education and the lack of men in the system – while it my take years to get significantly more men in teaching, bringing more male volunteers and support staff into schools could make – particularly as mentors for boy – is one way we can make a difference in the shorter term. […]

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