Latest Public Sector News

02.09.11

Former soldiers encouraged to teach

The Government hopes to encourage ex-soldiers to take up teaching careers – and one free school in Manchester has taken this to extremes, pledging to employ only former soldiers without formal teaching qualifications.

The intended headteacher of the Phoenix School is army captain Affan Burki, and the school may be set up on surplus army land. Tom Burkard, a research fellow at the think tank the Centre for Policy Studies, who is on the steering committee for the planned school, wrote a report co authored with Cptn Burki proposing the idea.

Burkard said: “All the old remedies for poverty, under-achievement and alienation have been tested to destruction. The consequences were starkly before us on the streets of Tottenham and Croydon. But before we put troops on the streets we should consider putting them in our schools.”

Yesterday, education secretary Michael Gove called for more male teachers to provide role models for children. He also announced that the requirement for teachers to record instances when they use physical force will be scrapped.

In a speech delivered at Durand Academy in Stockwell, south London, Gove said the regulations on the use of force must change: “If any parent now hears a school say, 'sorry, we can't physically touch the students', then that school is wrong. Plain wrong. The rules of the game have changed.”

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