Troops to Teachers scheme extended
Times Education Supplement; UK Government; Academies Week
The Troops to Teachers scheme is being extended until the end of the 2016-2017 academic year, despite the fact that only 41 veterans started in the first cohort in January 2014, and only 54 in the second cohort in September 2014. The move has been criticised by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
The Department for Education only give anecdotal evidence as justification for having this unique scheme for armed forces veterans, and do not state the cost or the targets of the extension. Indeed, they are now framing Troops to Teachers as part of the ‘Military Covenant’ – something that benefits veterans – rather than as part of the Military Ethos in Schools programme, which was supposed to be all about helping disadvantaged students in English state schools.
According to Academies Week, Troops to Teachers will receive a further £8.7 million of government funding between February 2015 and September 2018.
The DfE have revealed that there were 982 applications for the first cohort, and only 250 for the second; their explanation for this decrease is “because we improved the process to eliminate applications from those who are ineligible”, which suggests that not many military veterans are eligible for the scheme, which prompts questions about whether it should exist.