news, info, resources

Recent news & articles

14/11/2014 Academies Week The Department for Education is giving a further £8.7 million to the Troops to Teachers scheme between February 2015 and September 2018, despite the fact that only 41 veterans started in the first cohort in January 2014, and only 54 in the second cohort in September. The move has been criticised by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. 
11/11/2014 The Conversation Can war ever be celebrated, or is it essentially futile? Do remembrance rituals, symbols and ceremonies do more to romanticise warfare than bring home its horror? Does the event of remembrance exclude the sacrifice of those who died on the opposing side? Disagreement abounds on these issues and we are unlikely to see a public consensus any time soon. We should also think carefully about the part our schools play in these public events.
01/11/2014 ForcesWatch In the last month or so ForcesWatch have facilitated several critical thinking workshops on the military's youth engagement for schools, colleges, youth groups, and the general public recently, including in Bath, Edinburgh, Neath, and Oxford. See our Facebook page for photos.  If you can recommend our workshops to a teacher, or would like to do a workshop on our behalf, email Owen at education@forceswatch.net, or phone 020 7837 2822.
01/11/2014 Central England Quakers A new interactive theatre production, Over The Top, created by and featuring the experienced writers and performers of issue-based theatre Lynn and David Morris, looks at the opposing views of a pro-military head teacher and a peace activist parent regarding the military's influence in the school. To find out more, or to book a performance for your school/college/youth group email lynnmorris32@yahoo.co.uk 
08/10/2014 Child Soldiers International press release Campaigners lodge claim for judicial review of “Catch-22” rules, which force youngest recruits to serve for longest. New poll: public support for raising armed forces’ enlistment age to 18 continues to grow.
06/10/2014 Peace Education Network The Peace Education Network invite teachers, parents, governors, and any others involved in school to critically reflect on your experiences as we explore the benefits, risks, problems, and concerns of military involvement in education.

latest resources

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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12 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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2014

Quaker Peace and Social Witness has produced two new resources for peace education: Conscience (primary school-focused) and Conviction (secondary school-focused).

Conviction can supplement existing lesson materials in subjects such as History, Religious Education or Citizenship, and be used to support the delivery of Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) or Spiritual Moral Social Cultural (SMSC) education.

Through engaging with speaking and listening activities in pairs and groups, children can discuss and reflect on historical source materials including documents, letters, posters and images.

Printed copies are £5 each. Contact the Quaker Centre at quakercentre@quaker.org.uk or telephone: 020 7663 1030. For more information see here

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Forward Assist is a Veterans Support Charity helps those leaving the forces to re-invent themselves! Soldier to Citizen! It provides ‘needs led’ practical support,vocational skills training and social activities for veterans of all ages. The website also has interesting articles from a veteran's perspective.

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June 2014

A short film made by Headliners and ForcesWatch, 2014

Why does the military have a 'youth engagement' policy and why is the government promoting 'military ethos' within education? What is the impact of military activities taking place in schools? ForcesWatch have been working with the charity Headliners and a group of young people in London to produce this short film which explores these questions and gives teenagers the opportunity to voice their reaction to the military’s interest in their lives.

The film focuses on military activities in schools, including presentations and other visits by the armed forces and the Department for Education's 'Military Ethos in Schools' policy - as well as community cadet forces. It looks at young people's experiences and views and ask questions about the agenda behind the 'youth engagement' policy and the reluctance of the Department for Education and Ministry of Defence to discuss it with young people themselves.

This film will encourage young people to reflect on and debate military-related activities aimed at them.

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April 2014

Militarism has existed in the Britain for a long time, but there is a new tide of militarisation that has developed over the last five years. This briefing from Quaker Peace and Social Witness examines government reports, and reveals the government strategy to increase public support for the military, in order to raise the willingness of the public to pay for the military, make recruitment easier, and stifle opposition to unpopular wars.

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2014


A BBC resource. Includes a final section on 'could this happen today'?

At the outbreak of war in 1914, the British Army had 700,000 available men. Germany’s wartime army was over 3.7 million. When a campaign for volunteers was launched, thousands answered the call to fight. Among them were 250,000 boys and young men under the age of 19, the legal limit for armed service overseas.

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