28 ex-servicemen become teachers through scheme


A new scheme which helps former servicemen and women to qualify as teachers has seen just 28 people qualify so far.

Known as the Troops to Teachers scheme, it costs the government £4.3m , and began in 2014, in the hopes of helping introduce stricter discipline in schools and also to deal with the shortage of teachers.

However, only 551 applications have been made so far, according to Nick Gibb, the schools minister. This is significantly lower than the 2,000 applications that Michael Gove, the former Education Secretary, hoped to reach.

Troops to Teachers is run by the University of Brighton, and is a way for non-graduates who worked in the Armed Forces to train on the job for four days, and do academic study for one day, each week.

After two years, those on the course gain an honours degree in education, becoming a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).

“I very much want to see more veterans re-training to become teachers as they have a huge amount to offer and we desperately need more good teachers,” said Lucy Powell, the shadow education secretary.

“What’s clear is that, as with the government’s general slow response to teacher shortages, this scheme isn’t working because the government isn’t focusing on teacher recruitment.”

“We urgently need a proper strategy for teacher recruitment, including of veterans for whom this could make a great second career.”