Ex-troops without degrees to train as teachers


Lance Bolton: 'Teaching is a very rewarding career - as was the forces - so for me it was a natural step'

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Former armed forces personnel without degrees will be fast-tracked into teaching in England under a new government programme.

The Troops to Teachers scheme will help "highly skilled" former military personnel become teachers within two years.

Education Minister David Laws said ex-members of "our inspiring armed forces" could make great teachers.

Teaching unions doubted whether two years' training would be enough.

According to the Department for Education (DfE), service leavers without degrees "will be the only people able to start training as a teacher without a degree and be qualified within two years".

'Outstanding' potential

The DfE stressed that the scheme would use a rigorous assessment, selection and recruitment process to identify those "with the potential to become outstanding teachers".

From January 2014 those selected for the scheme will earn a salary, training four days a week on-the-job in classrooms around England and one day at university.

After two years' training they will count as 'newly qualified teachers' and will have gained an honours degrees in education, specialising either as secondary school subject teachers or as primary teachers.

Start Quote

"We know that our highly-skilled servicemen and women can inspire young people and help raise educational attainment." ”

End Quote David Laws Education Minister

A DfE spokesman stressed that top military specialists often have relevant experience, particularly in science and technology which could help redress the shortage of teachers in some subjects.

Many military personnel also have experience of "teaching, instructing, mentoring and coaching" which would count as credits towards the degree, says the government.

The government also wants to attract former service staff who have degrees into teaching, and is offering a range of training options to them under the scheme.

Mr Laws said military values such as leadership, discipline, motivation, and teamwork would benefit children.

"We want to capture the ethos and talents of those leaving the armed forces and bring this experience into teaching. We know that our highly-skilled servicemen and women can inspire young people and help raise educational attainment."

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said both veterans and their young pupils would gain from the scheme.

"A career in the armed forces provides skills and experience you cannot gain anywhere else and I would encourage anyone leaving the services to take the opportunity to pass on their invaluable knowledge".

'Learning ethos'

Teachers' leaders offered a cautious welcome to the contribution that ex-forces personnel could make to teaching, but Chris Keates of the NASUWT warned of a difference between maintaining military discipline and ensuring good behaviour in classrooms.

"To say you can simply transfer the skills from one to the other is an oversimplification of the complexities of dealing with pupil behaviour in schools," she said.

Brian Lightman, of the Association of School and College Leaders, said one day a week at university was not enough for trainee teachers without degrees.

Head teacher Mike Tull: "Discipline within a military context is fundamentally different to within a school or a classroom context"

"There is no doubt that some ex-military personnel have the potential to make excellent teachers, but they need the right preparation and support.

"From what we've seen so far, this programme lacks both... a military ethos belongs in the military. Schools need a learning ethos."

Christine Blower, of the National Union of Teachers, said: "Teaching is a wonderful profession and we welcome applicants from all walks of life who feel they can make the commitment to teach, including ex-military personnel.

"However, 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.

Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "It seems predicated on the notion that military service automatically makes someone a good teacher, whereas the reality is, some will make brilliant teachers and some won't."

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said Labour supported re-training troops as teachers but said the government had been too slow to do it.

"It has taken three years for Michael Gove just to launch this scheme, and during that time only a handful of volunteers have come forward".


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1299.

    Question? Given over 90% of of primary school teachers are female will this be the preferred % the selection board of the intake from the forces. and will this imbalance also apply to secondary education aspirants. When I took a degree in English two years ago (over 90% go on to teach) At the offset of 120 in the cohort the university had given but 28 places to males.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1298.

    Of all the comments on here, and forget all the arguments for and against, why do people keep asking why do soldiers deserve this?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1297.

    This stinks of Agenda 21, implementing the dumbing down of all children worldwide.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1296.

    1281, koolkarmauk
    that is just saturday night when off duty, I seem to recall as a student it was every night, as we didn't have to get up for parade at 06.00 hrs. 2 years of teacher training, for those with aptitude, after several years in the military is more than equal to a 3 year degree and a year PGCE.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1295.

    There seems to be some prejudice on this thread generally suggesting that Forces people are all thick semi-literate "Squaddies".
    I'm an ex RAF Aircraft Technician, I train and mentor NVQ Students in Aircraft Engineering. Some of my ex Forces friends are now Teachers, Nurses, Police Officers & one is a Lawyer. I think you will find ex Forces people to be generally excellent.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1294.

    1289. Liv
    In other words . .

    Take the people who have been programmed to take orders, no questions asked . . and let them teach your kids !
    Do SMT's treat you any differently?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1293.

    All experience can compliment a good hons degree but if Mr Gove thinks anyone can have the depth of knowledge and be skilled up enough to teach within just two years then it stands to reason that squaddies or anyone else could perform well enough to become a Government Education Secretary within six weeks.

    Another back of a fag packet policy?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1292.

    Given the current level of output from schools they won’t do any worse.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1291.

    Perhaps we should fast track them to be doctors instead. A few days a week for 6 months and then pop them into their own operating theatre.

    The only job you could learn with no education and no experience on a fast track seems to be politics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1290.

    At last an idea in education that has merit. From it we can hope to bring discipline back into the classroom and a structured plan to a child’s education.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1289.

    In other words . .

    Take the people who have been programmed to take orders, no questions asked . . and let them teach your kids !

  • rate this

    Comment number 1288.

    I can see it now... 'dad what was the most frightening moment? Iraq, Afghanistan?'

    'No son, year 9 Thursday period 5, trying to teach Gove's madcap history curriculum. It drove us all to the brink, 'Nam vets don't even talk about it, too many horrific memories. No more or I'll be back in rehab.'

  • rate this

    Comment number 1287.

    Why do people feel that ex services will be able to deal with troublesome kids? Students are well aware that there is little to nothing teachers can do about their poor behavior.They know what rules teachers have to abide by.Violence and bad language is common place in schools and all that happens is have a few days off and then come back.having a large squadie there will make no difference.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1286.

    Let the troops go into Parliament, not teaching. No qualifications needed but belonging to aristocracy helps. Also being ruthless and nasty to the enemy ( plebs) is advantageous. I`m sure they would do a better job than these useless individuals in government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1285.

    Clearly a number of people, including MPs consider this to be a brilliant idea. I assume, therefore, a big re-organisation is on the cards as MPs set about closing all the public schools to enable their own children to benefit along with ours!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1284.

    Living in a Police State ? Ideal for you, very bad for me and everyone else. The State run broadcaster, the fascist propoganda wing of the evil coalition.. Thank you BBC..
    Your posts deserved to be removed. And the fact that your using fascist and propaganda n the same sentence let alone in reference to the BBC suggests you need a better teacher, is there a squaddie about?

  • Comment number 1283.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1282.

    The teaching Unions are going to be beside themselves. Elements coming in that are not left wing PC correct indoctrinated. Whatever next Grove introducing history which reflects such things as Nelson and Churchill and how the Royal Navy put a stop to the North Atlantic slave trade. Outragious

  • rate this

    Comment number 1281.

    "These troops will have had huge worldy experiences, more so than the first two years of Uni, which from memory is a drink filled waste of two years."

    Go to any garrison town on a saturday night, the student uni bar is like a nuns tea party in comparison.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1280.

    Teaching is a vocation.

    If the military personnel were stupid enough to choose a career that had no future, why should our children suffer?


Page 5 of 69


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