'Championing the rights of children'

Ex-soldiers sent into schools to improve pupil behaviour

Garry Fri 15 Nov 2013 09:33

The Department for Education announces a £5m plan to send former members of the Armed Forces into schools to give problem pupils military-style training.

Rising numbers of former soldiers will be sent into schools to improve discipline and fitness levels under a £5 million Government programme, it was announced today.

Ex-members of the Armed Forces will take lessons at schools across England after research showed that their input had a dramatic effect on pupils’ exam results.

The Coalition will fund six charities to run projects involving former servicemen, focused principally on children with behaviour problems.

Activities run by the groups will include one-to-one mentoring to help address discipline issues, the introduction of military-style obstacle courses to motivate hard-to-teach pupils, team-building sessions to encourage teamwork and confidence-building exercises to help children cope with the transition from primary to secondary school.

It came as a study by Swansea University found that the use of former members of the Armed Forces could raise standards in schools in deprived areas.

Academics analysed the effect of a project run by Commando Joe’s – a Manchester-based project in which trained mentors are sent into the classroom – and found that 56 per cent of pupils taking part raised their maths grades while 70 per cent showed improvement in writing.

Elizabeth Truss, the Education Minister, said: “The lives of thousands of disengaged children have been turned around thanks to these projects which instil our wonderful Armed Forces’ values of hard work and discipline.

“That is why we are increasing the funding going to these important projects – so that even more children can benefit from the military ethos.”

The Department for Education said £4.8m was being invested in six projects in which charities send former servicemen into schools to run activities.
Read more... (Daily Telegraph - 15 November)