State schools should set up army cadet forces to ensure pupils are 'life ready'
Schools should also recruit more
ex-armed service personnel, urges Labour
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Thursday 17 January 2013
State schools should copy the private sector and set up army cadet forces to help build character and instil a sense of self-discipline in their pupils, Labour said today.
Schools should also recruit more ex-armed service personnel to act as mentors to their pupils, according to the party’s education spokesman, Stephen Twigg.
Speaking at a conference in Sheffield, Mr Twigg said schools needed to do more to ensure their pupils were “life ready” when they left education – and that developing character and resilience needed to be one of the aims of a new modern curriculum.
The shadow education secretary praised the work of St Matthew Academy in Lewisham, south London, one of the few state schools to have set up a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and to use ex-servicemen and women as mentors.
“I was inspired by talking to a 14-year-old who talked about the fact that the mentor from the armed services had changed her life – giving her a sense of self-discipline, rigour and helped her get back on the right track,” he said.
There are 257 private and state schools with their own CCFs, according to the Ministry of Defence, but the vast majority are understood to be in independent schools.
Mr Twigg’s initiative follows a call last year by Education Secretary Michael Gove for schools to employ more ex-service personnel to give troublesome youngsters more of a sense of discipline.
Mr Twigg said state schools should also ape the independent sector by setting up debating societies and ensuring every pupil had at least two hours of sport a week. Ofsted, the education standards watchdog, would monitor whether schools do so.
“There is a simple reason why some of the best private and state schools, too, focus on developing a young person’s whole potential. It’s because it prepares them for the future,” he added.
Mr Twigg also attacked Mr Gove’s plans to introduce a new English Baccalaureate to replace GCSEs in 2015, saying the move would herald a “decade of economic decline”.
The EBacc, as it has been dubbed, concentrates on just five subjects – English, maths, the sciences, a foreign language and the humanities (history or geography).
However, Mr Twigg said the concentration on just five subjects risked taking the country back to a 19th century education system where no value was placed on skills such as engineering, computing and construction, as well as creative subjects.
Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
Jessica Brown Findlay: Downton Abbey actress is linked to list of celebrities targeted by hackers
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Steven Sotloff 'beheading': British captive shown in Isis video which claims to show death of second US journalist
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
- 1 David Sedaris: What I learnt from Fitbit about the world around me
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: 'It's only rape if the victim is conscious'
- 5 Katie Hopkins in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Creche Assistant to start asap ...
£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Nursery Nurse Leeds We are now ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Deputy Education Manager (permanent ...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently recr...