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Pride and Prejudice has come out on top in a survey of UK English teachers’ top 100 books for children – but only because the subject is dominated by female staff, a senior teaching expert has said.

The Jane Austen classic appeared ahead of other English curriculum staples such as The Great Gatsby and Nineteen Eighty-Four, as well as modern favourites Harry Potter and Twilight.

Chair of the National Association for the Teaching of English Simon Gibbons said the results of the Times Education Supplement survey were a reflection on the high proportion of women in teaching because “people who like that book tend to be female.”

He said: “People tell me it’s a very good book.

“I don’t personally hold that view – I’m just not a massive fan of that period of English fiction. But people who like that book tend to be female rather than male. And there are more female than male teachers, so perhaps that’s a reflection of gender as well.”

Statistics released by Nottingham Trent and Bedfordshire universities earlier this year showed around a quarter of primary schools in England – 4,5000 – are staffed entirely by women, with men making up just 12 per cent of the primary school workforce. Full article