Military-style discipline to raise standards in state schools
Former soldiers without degrees will be fast-tracked into teaching and more cadet force units will be established as part of a dramatic expansion of a “military-style” ethos in English state schools
Military-style discipline will be introduced into state schools under sweeping government plans to train more ex-soldiers as teachers and dramatically increase the number of cadet forces, it has emerged.
The Government is investing at least £19 million on programmes designed to develop an Armed Forces “ethos” in the state education system.
For the first time this month, former servicemen without university degrees will be able to take part in a new training programme designed to fast-track them into the classroom in around half the time taken by most other teachers.
Ex-military personnel will be be able to gain full teaching qualifications within just two years as part of the Troops to Teachers course. Most teachers take at least four years.
The Coalition suggested that evidence showed former soldiers made better teachers than those recruited through conventional routes.
In further changes, the Government also pledged to create an extra 100 cadet force units in state schools within the next 12 months – boosting overall numbers by around a third.
The move has been condemned by teachers’ leaders who claimed that the recruitment of soldiers without degrees risks undermining the profession.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said schools should “welcome applicants from all walks of life who feel they can make the commitment to teach”.
But she added: “Teaching involves a complex mix of knowledge, skills and understanding of child development and trainees need both a high level of education themselves and thorough teacher training before they can take on the demands of educating our young people.
“The NUT believes that teaching must remain a graduate profession.”