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Fallout over pupils on parade
13/12/2012

The Guardian

Letters in response to Dept of Education promoting military ethos in schools

Is this what education has come to? Sending former soldiers into classrooms to pass on the "military ethos" to troubled children without evaluation of the risks, legal obligations and ethical issues involved (Charities pairing ex-military staff with disadvantaged pupils get £1.9m, 7 December)?

Michael Gove is not alone – the shadow education secretary, Stephen Twigg, has also said he wishes to see military schools as a way of raising aspirations in poor areas. You probably have to go back to Westminster's support for war in Iraq to see such Conservative and Labour frontbench unanimity.

Of course, at the heart of this project is the need to raise recruits for a 50% rise in the UK's reserve forces to 36,000 by 2020, rather than promoting positive "core values" in young people. While our armed forces may well be the "best in the world", ill-discipline, bullying and sexual assault are rife. And by recruiting under-18s (ie child soldiers), the UK shares a practice with only a few other highly militarised countries, including Iran and North Korea.
Dr Ian Davis
Gairloch Ross-shire


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