MSPs are being urged to hold an inquiry into the presence of the armed forces in Scotland’s schools after an outcry over plans to set up cadet units aimed at the poorest pupils.
Peace campaigners will this week lodge a public petition at Holyrood calling for a probe into the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force visiting schools with an eye to recruitment.
The move follows a Sunday Herald front page report last weekend in which Tory plans to create military cadet units in state schools in Scotland’s most deprived areas were attacked by a senior SNP source as an attempt to recruit vulnerable children as British Army ‘cannon fodder’.
Research suggests Scottish schools receive a disproportionately high level of military visits compared to other parts of the UK, yet only a third are overtly about careers, with the rest ostensibly related to education, team building and physical fitness.
The petitioners – the ForcesWatch group, which monitors military recruitment; and Quakers in Scotland – fear creeping militarism in schools is promoting the forces to children who have little understanding of the potential risks and consequences of signing up.