A new study has revealed that boys perform better at school when they are taught by a male teacher.
The research was conducted for the Training and Development Agency - the body responsible for teacher training.
The research comes as the number of males qualifying to teach is at its lowest for five years - 23.8 per cent. Only 13 per cent of all primary school teachers are men.
The research, carried out by ICM, is backed up by psychologists who point out that - with the growing number of one-parent families where children are brought up by their mother - a teacher may be a child's only male role model.
"Male primary school teachers can often be stable and reliable figures in the lives of the children they teach," the Independent quoted Dr Tanya Byron, the clinical psychologist and government adviser, as saying.
The study involved more than 1,000 men.
Analysis revealed that almost half of the men cited male primary school teachers as having had the most impact on them during their school life.
In addition, 35 per cent said having a male teacher challenged them to work harder at school while 22 per cent said males had boosted their confidence in their own ability.