Michael Gove’s desire for a greater military ethos in schools has taken another step forward with the announcement of extra cash for charities which are using ex-service personnel to work with excluded or disadvantaged pupils.
The Department for Education (DfE) said it had committed £1.9m to four projects around England which put former military trainers into alternative provision teaching units, used primarily for pupils who had been excluded from ordinary schools but also those, for example, with particular medical needs.
The former service personnel would provide mentoring and confidence-building, and organise team-building tasks and, in some instances, outdoor obstacle courses to “engage and motivate hard-to-reach pupils”.
Since becoming education secretary, Gove has expanded the provision for school cadet forces and developed a Troops to Teachers programme, with £9,000 bursaries for ex-military staff seeking a career in the classroom.
Of the latest project, he said: “Every child can benefit from the values of a military ethos. Self-discipline and teamwork are at the heart of what makes our armed forces the best in the world – and are exactly what all young people need to succeed.”
Two of the groups involved are private youth training companies with a specialism in military-style courses.