The Education Secretary Michael Gove today announced plans to send former soldiers into classrooms to pass on the “military ethos” to troubled children.
The £1.9 million initiative is aimed at children who have been excluded from schools. Ex-servicemen will visit schools to help instil teamwork, discipline and leadership skills through tailor-made exercises.
Mr Gove said: “Every child can benefit from the values of a military ethos.” He added: “Exclusion from school should never mean exclusion from education.”
But Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), argued that self-discipline and teamwork were objectives “that schools instil in pupils day in day out, the majority having never been anywhere near the military”.
The funding will be divided between four ex-servicemen’s groups, with £600,000 going to Commando Joes’ in Cheshire, £700,000 to Challenger Troop in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, £400,000 to the Knowsley Skills Academy in Prescot, Merseyside, and £200,000 to the Newcastle-based Skillforce group.
Commando Joes’, which started in 2009, stands by the motto ‘No Child Left Behind’.