News & articles

Media coverage of our petition to the Scottish Parliament
16/09/2016

various

On Thursday 15 September, ForcesWatch and Quakers in Scotland went to the Scottish Parliament to give evidence to the Public Petitions Committee about armed forces visits to schools. Read more about the petition here. The session can be watched or read and was covered by:

STV News online: Army recruitment 'targeting deprived pupils', Holyrood hears

Common Space: Campaigners welcome parliament progress on military recruitment in schools

The Herald: Campaign to monitor military in schools takes step forward

BBC Online: Concerns raised over school Army visits

The National: Armed forces’ school visits to be reviewed amid fears disadvantaged pupils are being targeted


From the BBC:

Concerns raised over school Army visits

Scotland's Children's Commissioner is to be asked for his view on members of the armed forces visiting schools.

It comes after MSPs heard claims that the military was targeting pupils from deprived areas for recruitment.

Religious group Quakers in Scotland and military recruitment watchdog Forces Watch raised the issue with the Public Petitions Committee.

Their submission said the MoD had asked Education Scotland for school deprivation data last year.

It followed an earlier attempt to obtain a database of sensitive student information for England in order to better target Army recruitment, the submission said.

It added: "In 2013 the Army stated that its schools careers advice 'is often more tailored and directed to those at risk of disengaging with education or work or those who struggle academically'."

Quakers in Scotland and Forces Watch are seeking guidance on how school visits should be conducted to ensure "political balance and offer a realistic representation of the role of the armed forces and what a career in the armed forces involves".

Parents and guardians

They are also calling for public monitoring of the number and location of visits, the purpose and content of visits and comparison with the number of visits by other employers.

Parents and guardians should also be consulted as to whether they are happy for their child to take part in armed forces' activities at school, they said.

Committee convener Johann Lamont said MSPs should ask children's commissioner Tam Baillie for his views, as well as the Army, the Scottish government, councils, the Scottish Youth Parliament and Skills Development Scotland.....

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