Hundreds of teen tearaways will face military-style boot camps staffed by soldiers to teach them self-discipline
07:52 GMT, 7 December 2012
Unruly youngsters will be sent to ‘boot camps’ staffed by former soldiers to teach them self-discipline, ministers will announce today.
Hundreds of troubled teenagers will tackle military-style assault courses and team-building exercises in an attempt to raise their motivation to succeed in the classroom.
Education Secretary Michael Gove announced 1.9million funding to draft battle-hardened troops into four projects aimed at pupils who have been expelled from school or are on the brink of exclusion.
Crawling under steel wires: Hundreds of troubled teenagers will tackle military-style assault courses in an attempt to raise their motivation to succeed in the classroom
He hopes the ex-soldiers will help instil discipline and leadership skills and become role models for the children. Mr Gove said: ‘Every child can benefit from the values of a military ethos. Self-discipline and teamwork are at the heart of what makes our Armed Forces the best in the world – and are exactly what all young people need to succeed.
‘Exclusion from school should never mean exclusion from education.’
Youngsters involved in the projects will be given one-to-one mentoring to help keep them committed to education.
They will also take part in a mix of indoor and outdoor team-building exercises.
Physical drills including military-style obstacle courses will help motivate ‘hard-to-reach’ pupils and teach them skills they can use in the classroom.
The schemes will also help some primary school children during their transition to secondary school through building their self-confidence.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced 1.9million funding for four projects aimed at pupils who have been expelled from school
As part of the initiative, 600,000 of the funding will go to Commando Joes’ in Cheshire, run by former bomb disposal expert Mike Hamilton. The 32-year-old, who served in the Royal Engineers for eight years, formed the company in 2009 after leaving the army, to provide after-school activities at schools.
In addition, 700,000 will support Challenger Troop in Tunbridge Wells, 400,000 will go to Knowsley Skills Academy in Merseyside and 200,000 to Newcastle-based SkillForce.
Mr Gove hopes the schemes will raise standards among pupils in so-called ‘alternative provision’ – local authority schooling for children who have been excluded from mainstream education.
Last year, only 1.5 per cent of pupils in alternative provision achieved at least five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and maths.
The initiative is part of a series of measures aimed at harnessing the military ethos of former servicemen and women to help young people. Ministers are also launching a scheme to retrain troops as teachers.