Military and education not compatible


ForcesWatch letter to the press

Letter to the media in response to article by Labour MPs inviting the ‘military to invade our schools’.

Stephen Twigg and Jim Murphy’s call for the military to invade our schools (July 9th) demonstrates a misunderstanding of the incompatible roles of the military and education sector as well as a selective use of evidence. Schools exist to provide a well-rounded education for their students, enabling them to make informed decisions about their future. However, internal Ministry of Defence and Army documents are clear in their emphasis on recruitment as the primary rationale for engaging with schools and young people.

Using The Duke of York’s Royal Military School as an example of the benefits of a military education is deceptive. That school was, until two years ago, an independent school and still has a significantly lower than average number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

There are numerous examples of schools working with challenging students and performing above average without the military’s assistance.
Assumptions about the appropriateness of a ‘military ethos’ within education need full examination and an understanding of incompatible agendas and the problems reported to exist within the military itself – including alcohol abuse and consequent violent behavior (Telegraph 03/11/07 and 13/05/10) – that may not make it such a good role model for young people.


See more: military in schools/colleges, ForcesWatch, military ethos