A scheme titled ‘Troops to Teachers’ has been launched by the Government, in which former personnel of the AF are being encouraged to take a step towards teaching in a specialist training course in which they might possibly become full time teachers within two years.
‘Highly skilled’ instructors, coaches or mentors of the AF may see themselves becoming teachers in a scheme of two year training, spread between spending time in the classroom and at university over four days per week after a process of selection. Furthermore, those who have a degree may be able to enrol on a teacher training course in which they may be set to earn a salary and additional training.
It is aimed that the ‘Troops to Teachers’ scheme may bring a military ethos into the national curriculum. Education Minister David Laws hopes ‘to capture the ethos and talents of those leaving the AF, and bring this experience into teaching.’ He went on to say ‘We know that our highly skilled servicemen and women can inspire young people and help raise educational attainment’. There have been concerns that perhaps those selected may be unsuitable for the role of a teacher; this may be prevented by a rigorous process of selection within the scheme, ensuring only the dedicated and outstanding candidates become teachers. The scheme is introduced at a time in which soldiers face a further 5300 job reductions, and it is aimed that this scheme may encourage many soldiers to participate.
Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond praised the scheme, saying ‘I would encourage anyone leaving the services to take the opportunity to pass on their invaluable knowledge and instill respect, discipline and pride in the next generation’. Important to the success of the scheme is the necessity to differentiate between the contrasts of discipline in the military and that of a school.
Lance Bolton, former Armed Forces personnel who participated in the scheme, believes that ‘firmness and consistency of behaviour’ have enabled him to develop good relations with his students, and he prides this on his experiences in the AF, ‘soldiers have personal consistency of discipline’.
It is hoped by many that the scheme is wholly successful as many aspire to be in the AF; students may experience discipline of a different method, a method that relies solely on the experiences of the teacher at the military forefront. Additionally, the patriotic element to the scheme is one that many may be pleased with. There is also the aim that soldiers who return from the AF and are unsure what they wish to do for a career after may find resolution in the scheme, in contrast to perhaps feeling like they are searching for something more. Therefore, it is aimed that the military values of teamwork, motivation, leadership and dedication may be taught to today’s younger generations and to spread further on from there.
What other schemes may have similar productive effects on youth and the AF?