Quakers go to war over ‘bellicose’ school pack that promotes ‘pro-military values’

The Government has been accused of helping indoctrinate children with pro-military values through a new schools pack aimed at promoting the armed forces.

The 58-page British Armed Forces Learning Resource –which was published by David Cameron’s office – is a “poor quality learning resource” that appears to have been drawn up with to boost military recruitment, according to a report by the Quakers and human rights group ForcesWatch.

By promoting the pack, the Department for Education is failing in its legal duty under the 1996 Education Act to safeguard schools from politicisation, the authors of the report claim.

They are particularly critical of some of the rhetoric used to describe the armed forces in the pack. For instance, the resource quotes Defence Secretary Michael Fallon as saying: “The military ethos is a golden thread that can be an example of what is best about or nation and helps it improve everything it touches.”

There is also a foreword from Mr Cameron himself, who is quoted as saying: “Around the world, the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines stand for freedom, fairness, tolerance and responsibility… There is not a single person in this country who is not a direct beneficiary of their sacrifices and bravery.”

He adds:  “I hope this will be the beginning of your interest in Britain’s armed services.”

Don Rowe, former director of curriculum resources at the Citizenship Foundation, who contributed to the report, said of the learning pack: “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