Classroom Warriors

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Duration: 29 minutes

Panorama goes back to school to examine government plans to send in the troops to Britain's troubled classrooms. Can they help restore discipline, leadership and respect? It is an idea born in the USA, where around 15 thousand ex-military personnel have become teachers and done their bit in some of America's toughest inner-city schools. Vivian White reports on the military manoeuvres claimed to be building David Cameron's so-called "Big Society".

  • Former US troops call 'attention' in class

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    Panorama's Vivian White visited a school in America where former soldiers are bringing the techniques they picked up in the forces into the classroom.
    Huntington Middle School in Newport News, Virginia has benefitted from the Troops to Teachers programme created 18 years ago after the first Gulf War. Despite the inner city challenges of the area, the students are showing results.

  • Student praises the polish of ex-soldiers as teachers

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    Lordswood Boys School in Birmingham - home to 700 pupils - had many of the usual problems that blight inner city schools - including discipline issues and gang violence.
    That was until the school brought in ex-military personnel to teach and introduced a Combined Cadet Force a decade ago. Today, one in 12 of the staff at the school are ex-military and both discipline and standards have improved.
    Hakeem Nawas, 15, and his mother Isha told Panorama's Vivian White how the introduction of military discipline helped him develop.

  • Retired American soldiers’ new 'mission to teach'

    Retired American soldiers’ new 'mission to teach'

    Panorama examines America's successful Troops to Teachers programme that retrains soldiers for the battle to educate America's inner city children.

    The programme from 'over there' on its way here
  • Air Force officer swaps troops for teaching

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    Panorama Reporter Vivian White heads to America to gauge the success of the Troops to Teachers programme introduced after the first Gulf War.
    Former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Frank Melvin teaches at Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia - a tough, inner city community with a high crime rate. He extols the virtues he acquired in the military of building relationships with his students.

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    Classroom Warriors - join in the debate

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Matthew Chapman
Vivian White


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