education

Through their participation in the British education system, a majority of young people get their first exposure to the Armed Forces – via career recruitment events and military-focused curriculum materials, student visits to military bases and military museums, and extra-curricular leisure programmes.
Since 2012, the British Government has spent more than £45 million on “military ethos” projects, including:
  • Troops to Teachers fast-tracks former soldiers and other service personnel without degrees to train as teachers
  • Youth engagement schemes such as Commando Joe’s and Challenger Troop work in partnership with local authorities and schools to replace school-based learning with military-style activities in uniform
  • The UK Government encourages academies and free schools to be sponsored by parts of the military such as the Reserves and Cadet Associations. Such schools have a high proportion of ex‐forces staff and military‐led activities for students.
The UK Government has pledged to increase the number of cadet units in state schools five-fold by 2020, saying these would be prioritised in “less affluent areas”.
Doubtless, many of these efforts achieve good results and enable young people to gain new and important skills. Some former cadets even claim that their time in the programme has been the making of them. In a time of austerity and budget cuts, the Armed Forces’ money and resources may fill a vital gap in the public education system.  Nevertheless, the question of whether the Armed Forces should have access to schools and input into education, and how much, continues to draw extreme and opposing responses, especially given the young age at which people can enlist into the military in the UK.
Questions:
  • Does the military impose specific values through its involvement in educational programmes and institutions?
  • Have military-funded curricula replaced other programming?
  • What is the UK government’s role in encouraging and evaluating the Armed Forces presence in schools?
  • Are educators and educational institutions able to maintain free thought and objectively high standards, or are the learning environment and academic experiences of young people being shaped by outside forces with their own motives and agenda?
  • Should veterans and military personnel be prioritised to become teachers?
  • What activities or initiatives could be offered in schools as “civilian’ alternatives” to cadet force programmes?

Michael Fallon launches army cadets scheme at ‘Trojan horse’ school | Politics | The Guardian

guardianschoolcadetforces

Michael Fallon has announced 150 new army cadet units for state schools, with the first launched on Tuesday at the Birmingham school at the centre of the “Trojan horse” row over alleged attempts to introduce a hardline Islamist ethos. Speaking to the Conservative party conference, Fallon said the Ministry of Defence would create the cadet units for state schools, with 25 launching this week, a scheme he said gave young cadets “the skills and confidence they need to thrive”.

Source: Michael Fallon launches army cadets scheme at ‘Trojan horse’ school | Politics | The Guardian

Ex-soldier passes on skills to Liverpool pupils – Liverpool Echo

A former soldier from Liverpool is using his military skills in a bid to improve the attendance, behaviour and wellbeing of school pupils across Merseyside.Wayne Forsyth and UK Military School co-founder Sam Ball-Taylor, have employed 20 ex-servicemen and women to become tutors, delivering bespoke academic programmes to more than 6,000 pupils across 60 schools in the North West since 2009.They run bushcraft activity days, assault courses and give motivational speeches, using “fun but disciplined” tactics.

Source: Ex-soldier passes on skills to Liverpool pupils – Liverpool Echo

Armed forces make over 300 visits to UK universities in two years | Education | theguardian.com

British universities have opened their doors to allow the armed forces to make 341 visits to recruit students in two years. In response to a Freedom of Information request by the Guardian, the Ministry of Defence reveals the extent to which the armed forces is focusing on universities to enlist students to the army, air force and navy. Its figures show Birmingham has welcomed more recruiters than any other university, with 20 visits since the start of last year.

Source: Armed forces make over 300 visits to UK universities in two years | Education | theguardian.com

Cash boost for Troops to Teaching after slow start | Schools Week

The scheme is aimed at those who leave the services without degrees. Inspired by a similar programme in the US, it offers two years of school-based training, leading to qualified teacher status and a foundation degree. Trainees are paid between £13,000 and £16,000.

Source: Cash boost for Troops to Teaching after slow start | Schools Week