Government accused of military propaganda in the classroom

The Government’s material for schools about the armed forces has been criticised today by the human rights group ForcesWatch (1) and Quakers in Britain (2).

In a written report and a graphic animation, the organisations explain why the British Armed Forces Learning Resource (published in September 2014 by the Prime Minister’s Office (3) (4)) is a poor quality educational resource, and expose the resource as a politically-driven attempt to promote recruitment into the armed forces and “military values” in schools.

The document is framed as a History, English and Citizenship resource for children and teenagers from as young as 5 years old. Endorsed and promoted to all schools by the Department for Education, its stated aim is to ‘to educate children about the work of the UK armed forces’.

The critique (see report and animation details below) includes responses from a number of educationalists worried about Government and the armed forces producing materials for schools inappropriate for use in education. Don Rowe, Citizenship Education consultant and former Director of Curriculum Resources at the Citizenship Foundation, stated that the Resource is ‘demonstrably biased’ and has called for its withdrawal. He says,

Culturally, this is the kind of resource one gets in countries with less-than-democratic structures where civic education is used by governments to manipulate citizens into an uncritical attitude towards the state.Read more