cadets, military in schools colleges

27/06/2015 ForcesWatch comment

A year ago we wrote how Armed Forces Day symbolises the creep of militarism into our civil institutions. Far from being merely a reflection of public respect, this creep is the result of a concerted effort, which can be tracked through policy initiatives and is fuelled by concern that the military are losing control of the public narrative around defence. We noted how these public displays, which are ostensibly about supporting 'the men and women who make up the Armed Forces', (including Camo DayReserves Day and the Poppy Appeal), act to market the military as an institution and to build a positive and uncritical narrative around it and support its recruitment needs.

A year, and another Armed Forces Day, later, we look here at how militarism continues to creep into schools and colleges and how recent developments further embed military approaches and interests within the education system.

19/06/2015 The Daily Wales

The Welsh Government has been told to review of the way the British Armed Forces are allowed to recruit in Welsh schools.

10/06/2015 Army

In addition to placing a soldier on each school coach visiting the First World War battlefields (as part of the government’s flagship  Centenary initiative to have at least two students from every school in the country visit them), the Army have launched their own First World War teaching resources for schools, and are offering to send soldiers to schools to ‘support teaching activities’. 

10/06/2015 various

Despite developments in character education that suggest there is no need for military ethos initiatives, and further questions around the rigour of evaluations supposedly justifying further funding of military ethos schemes, several such schemes have recently received funding...

The Department for Education has given out its £3.5 million ‘Character Awards’ and its £3.5 million Character Education grants, both championed by Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan, to 27 schools and youth organisations in England, and 14 youth projects, respectively.  Despite the DfE's heralding of 'military ethos' as an  excellent means of developing character, none of those awarded mention military-style activities in their descriptions (see here and here).

09/06/2015 ForcesWatch comment

Looking back on being part of a school-based cadet unit, the author reflects that, despite the fun and experience to be gained, the benefits could be achieved with non-military activities which would not present a dangerous and risk-laden career as an enjoyable and exciting activity or expose young people to an environment where bullying and hazing are normalised.

06/06/2015 Schools Week ; The Daily Mail

'The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been blocked from obtaining highly sensitive personal data about school and college students, which had ostensibly been sought in order to help “target its messaging” around military careers...'

05/06/2015 ForcesWatch Comment

Schools Week are today reporting that the Ministry of Defence requested access to the National Pupil Database. The request was for the most sensitive pupil data. The request was refused by the Department for Education. The evidence is in that the armed forces already visit schools for recruitment purposes so we ask why, if 'targeted messaging' in schools about armed forces careers is not for the 'well-being' of students, are they allowed to visit schools with their recruitment agenda at all?

05/06/2015 ForcesWatch Comment

Schools Week today report that the Ministry of Defence requested access to the National Pupil Database. The request was for the most sensitive pupil data and was refused by the Department for Education. There is substantial evidence that the armed forces already engage with schools for recruitment purposes so we ask why, if 'targeted messaging' in schools about armed forces careers is not for the 'well-being' of students, are they allowed to visit schools - and run military activities such as cadets in them - at all? 

02/06/2015 Open Democracy

Europe's largest arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, has applied to sponsor the failing Furness Academy. The reason is profit.