Military-style discipline to raise standards in state schools

Former soldiers without degrees will be fast-tracked into teaching and more cadet force units will be established as part of a dramatic expansion of a “military-style” ethos in English state schools

Military-style discipline will be introduced into state schools under sweeping government plans to train more ex-soldiers as teachers and dramatically increase the number of cadet forces, it has emerged.

The Government is investing at least £19 million on programmes designed to develop an Armed Forces “ethos” in the state education system.

For the first time this month, former servicemen without university degrees will be able to take part in a new training programme designed to fast-track them into the classroom in around half the time taken by most other teachers.

Ex-military personnel will be be able to gain full teaching qualifications within just two years as part of the Troops to Teachers course. Most teachers take at least four years.

The Coalition suggested that evidence showed former soldiers made better teachers than those recruited through conventional routes.

In further changes, the Government also pledged to create an extra 100 cadet force units in state schools within the next 12 months – boosting overall numbers by around a third.

The move has been condemned by teachers’ leaders who claimed that the recruitment of soldiers without degrees risks undermining the profession.… Read more

Multicultural Britain rejecting foreign conflict, MoD admits

Repeat of Afghanistan-or-Iraq-style invasion ruled out for war-weary UK, according to senior officials

A growing reluctance in an increasingly multicultural Britain to see UK troops deployed on the ground in future operations abroad is influencing the next two strategic defence reviews, according to senior figures at the Ministry of Defence.

As well as a general feeling of war weariness, sources say they have sensed a resistance in an increasingly diverse nation to see British troops deployed in countries from which UK citizens, or their families, once came.

There is also concern that British troops have been seen taking action mainly in Muslim societies.

The MoD is still taking stock of the surprise decision of the House of Commons last summer to reject military intervention to punish President Assad of Syria for the use of chemical weapons against rebel forces.

Senior figures believe the rejection of that action was not just the by-product of a political battle between Labour and the government, but revealed deeper-seated long-term trends in British society.

One of the issues raised is improving the recruitment of British officers from minority ethnic communities.

Sources stress that they do not believe that a change in attitudes rules out overseas British intervention, but more will have to be planned on the basis of air and naval activity, rather than large-scale use of troops on the ground.… Read more