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Recent news & articles

03/03/2015 The Independent "Militarism has no place in classrooms. This resource is ideologically driven and should be withdrawn." The Government has been accused of helping indoctrinate children with pro-military values through a new schools pack aimed at promoting the armed forces.
03/03/2015 ForcesWatch / Quakers in Britain press release The Government's material for schools about the armed forces has been criticised today by the human rights group ForcesWatch and Quakers in Britain.
25/02/2015 Young Quakers in Canada 'Youth in Canada - particularly young people of faith - are increasingly concerned about militarism in our society; and how this affects them...'
25/02/2015 Central England Quakers; Peace Education Network The interactive theatre production, 'Over The Top', created by and featuring the experienced writers and performers of issue-based theatre Lynn and David Morris, which looks at the opposing views of a pro-military head teacher and a peace activist parent regarding the military's influence in the school, is to be performed in London on 24 March 2015.
25/02/2015 Times Education Supplement; UK Government; Academies Week The Troops to Teachers scheme is being extended until the end of the 2016-2017 academic year, despite the fact that only 41 veterans started in the first cohort in January 2014, and only 54 in the second cohort in September 2014. The move has been criticised by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers...
25/02/2015 Cardiff United Nations Association; Cardiff News Plus; Made in Cardiff TV On Red Hand Day (the annual international day of campaigning against the use of child soldiers), 12 February, 2015, a well-attended event at Cardiff's Temple of Peace called for an end to military presence and influence in schools and colleges in Wales. Featuring speakers from ForcesWatch and Fellowship of Reconciliation Wales, the event explored the nature of armed forces visits to schools and colleges in Wales, as well as the military's 'engagement' with young people in Wales more broadly...

latest resources

March 2015
March 2015

The report is published in conjunction with the video The British Armed Forces: Propaganda in the classroom? produced by Quaker Peace & Social Witness

 

This report explains why the British Armed Forces Learning Resource (published in September 2014 by the Prime Minister's Office) is a poor quality educational resource, and exposes the resource as a politically-driven attempt to promote recruitment into the armed forces and “military values” in schools.

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March 2015

In advance of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child's consideration of how the UK complies with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (during autumn 2015), the UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has published a short report outlining areas of concern.

On children in armed conflict (the UK is a signatory to the Convention's Optional Protocal on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict), the report states:

Again, WE HOPE THAT OUR SUCCESSOR COMMITTEE WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SCRUTINISE THE ISSUE OF CHILDREN SERVING IN THE ARMED FORCES IN THE LIGHT OF THE UN COMMITTEE'S CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS WHICH WILL BE DELIVERED IN 2016.

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2014

This educational resource investigates the diverse experiences of Australian school communities during the Great War. Each investigation uses primary and secondary sources to look at what students were learning about the British Empire, its Allies and enemies, the consequences on daily life at school, the values taught, the patriotic activities undertaken, the reasons why some students and teachers enlisted and responses to the loss or wounding of people from school communities.

Each investigation has ‘tuning in’ and ‘going further’ learning activities. Additional sources on the CD-ROM are also provided. 

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December 2014

The report, compiled by ForcesWatch, is based on figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from the armed forces on their visits to Scottish schools. It has been co-sponsored by the Educational Institute of Scotland which has expressed concerns that some armed forces visits may have a recruitment purpose.

The report discusses the aims of the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces’ ‘youth engagement’ programme and concludes that: “Despite assurances by the Ministry of Defence and the three armed services that the armed forces do not recruit in schools, it is evident that many of the activities provided by members of the armed forces in schools are recruitment-related and the recruitment potential of visits is a key purpose of many, if not most, of their visits to schools.” 

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October 2014

A nationwide poll conducted in July 2014 by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd found that 78 per cent of respondents who expressed a view thought the minimum enlistment age for the Army should be 18 or above. Just 14 per cent of respondents thought the minimum age should be 16 (as it currently is) or less.

An identically worded poll conducted in April 2013 by ICM found 70 per cent of respondents who expressed a view thought the minimum enlistment age should be 18 or above, with 20 per cent supporting 16 or younger.

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October 2014

By David Gee, published by ForcesWatch

At a comfortable distance from warfare, our culture easily passes over its horrific reality in favour of an appealing, even romantic, spectacle of war. Militarism, past and present, attempts to control public opinion by aligning it with its own worldview. In his new book, Spectacle, Reality, Resistance: Confronting a culture of militarism, David Gee takes a fresh look at a culture of militarism in Britain, exploring these dynamics – distance, romance, control – in three essays, accompanied by three shorter pieces about the cultural treatment of war and resistance to the government's increasingly prodigious efforts to regain control of the story we tell ourselves about war.

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September 2014

This paper, published by ForcesWatch and Child Soldiers International, shows that the taxpayer would save approximately £50 million per annum if the minimum age of recruitment were raised to 18; it would also result in the army needing to find about 211 fewer new recruits annually, based on current numbers joining the trained strength.

The paper concludes that the case to cease recruiting from age 16 is now overwhelming and urges a full, independent review of the policy, with a view to phasing out the recruitment of minors as an unnecessary, cost-ineffective, and fundamentally unethical practice.

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