Plans to encourage troops to become teachers

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Plans to encourage Service personnel leaving the Armed Forces to become teachers were announced yesterday, 24 November 2010, as part of the Schools White Paper released by the Department for Education.

The Importance of Teaching’ outlines the coalition government’s schools reform programme. It draws heavily on evidence learned from the world’s best education systems, and will see heads and teachers driving school improvement, the Education Department announced.

Part of the plan relates to Armed Forces leavers. The white paper states:

We will encourage Armed Forces leavers to become teachers by developing a ‘Troops to Teachers’ programme which will sponsor Service leavers to train as teachers.

We will pay tuition fees for PGCEs [postgraduate certificates in education] for eligible graduates leaving the Armed Forces and work with universities to explore the possibility of establishing a bespoke compressed undergraduate route into teaching targeted at Armed Forces leavers who have the relevant experience and skills but may lack degree-level qualifications.

We will encourage Teach First to work with the Services as they develop Teach Next, so that Service leavers are able to take advantage of new opportunities to move into education.

Service leavers also have a great deal to offer young people as mentors and we will be looking to increase opportunities for this.

The charity Skill Force does fantastic work in this area enabling more former Armed Forces personnel to work alongside the children who benefit most from their support.

Skill Force is a charity that delivers programmes to increase the numbers of young people entering education, employment and training on leaving school. Their courses, which help young people earn vocational qualifications and develop life skills, are taught mainly by ex-Armed Forces personnel who have been wounded or are on long-term sick leave. The Service personnel develop a close working relationship with their students and help to instil a culture of respect and mutual support.

Speaking about the plans for a ‘Troops to Teachers’ programme in the Schools white paper 2010, Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

I can’t think of anything better than getting people who know all about self-discipline, teamwork and a sense of pride into our schools to complement the huge numbers of great teachers we have there.

The Schools white paper 2010 outlines the coalition government’s plans. Further details on implementation of the proposals should be announced in due course.