A third of a £6 million funding pot aimed at building character in school pupils will be targeted at military-style projects, prompting criticism from campaigners.
The government has said that up to £2 million of its character education grant funding will this year pay for projects that have a “military ethos approach to develop character”.
According to the Forces Watch campaign group, the latest announcement takes the total amount spent or earmarked by the government for projects aimed at instilling a military ethos in schools since 2012 to almost £90 million.
Applications for this year have just closed, with schools having to wait until September to find out if they have been successful in their bids for between £50,000 and £750,000. The fund is separate to the department’s annual character education awards.
Forces Watch, which scrutinises army recruitment practices, said the grant allocation was the latest in a series of big pay-outs related to military-style education, citing the £10 million Troops to Teachers recruitment scheme and £14 million already spent on the cadet expansion scheme, which received another £50 million last year.
Emma Sangster, co-ordinator of the organisation, questioned the logic of the Department for Education’s approach when last year’s character awards had demonstrated a “wealth of other approaches”.… Read more