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Grants allocated to projects introducing military ethos to schools

18/11/2013 Kelly
The government is to support the expansion of schemes that seek to help staff in education jobs to raise attainment by introducing a military ethos into schools.

In August 2012, grants were allocated to four initiatives involving former armed forces personnel, which are designed to raise participation and attainment among disengaged children by instilling them with values such as teamwork, discipline and leadership.

These projects - Commando Joe's in Greater Manchester, Challenger Troop in Kent, Knowsley Skills Academy in Merseyside and SkillForce in Newcastle - have subsequently worked with over 8,000 challenging pupils across 300 primary and secondary schools and pupil referral units.

Following positive feedback on their performance, the government will now allocate an additional £4.8 million to support these schemes, along with two new ones run along similar lines by CVQO and the Prince's Trust.

Techniques utilised in these initiatives include helping primary school children to build up their self-confidence to aid their transition to secondary school.

Military-style obstacle courses are also used to engage and motivate hard-to-reach pupils, as are a mixture of educational indoor and outdoor team-building exercises.

Education minister Liz Truss commented: "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."

Swansea University scrutinised Commando Joe's programmes at four schools and found 56 per cent of participating pupils achieved better grades in maths, as did 40 per cent in reading and 70 per cent in writing.

Teacher assessment of 32 pupils involved in Challenger Troop programmes also found that, after six months, 77 per cent exhibited improvement in their self-control, 86 per cent in their social skills, and 73 per cent in their self-awareness and confidence.

Furthermore, SkillForce's own survey of the 3,291 young people it worked with between 2011 and 2012 found 86 per cent felt the project gave them a more positive attitude, while 77 per cent said they now treated their teachers with respect.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801661809-ADNFCR
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