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Army in Secondary Schools

(49 Posts)
titchy Wed 15-Jun-11 14:21:01

Have read the thread on the visit by army personnel to infants, and would not have any problem - clearly not a recruitment drive and in the same category as 'people who help us'.

But what about the army coming into a secondary school to do various activities for the morning? For some reason I think I would feel quite uncomfortable with this, but can't put my finger on why, when I would be quite happy for, say, the police to come in and do some activities with the children.

What do the MN collective think?

mumblechum1 Wed 15-Jun-11 14:24:19

My ds would be interested as he wants to train as an Army doctor. I do know that a lot of people would be uncomfortable about them trying to recruit in very deprived areas where job options are limited, and therefore the choice is between no job and a very dangerous one (as an infantry soldier which is a lot more risky than some officer level jobs)

meditrina Wed 15-Jun-11 14:25:31

Do you mean something like CCF? Or a deliberate recruitment fair?

I wouldn't have problem with either. The former has no recruiting angle and can offer brilliant activities. The latter should of course be on exactly the same terms as any other potential employers.

Kez100 Wed 15-Jun-11 14:37:35

I think we probably all feel a bit vulnerable now with our forces fighting so much. My husband was in the Navy and - as a result - so were a lot of our friends. Many are still in serving. His cousins are both in the RAF and my cousin a volunteer lifeboatman (not wuite the same, but dangerous). I would still feel like you if they were coming into school on a recruitment drive!

coccyx Wed 15-Jun-11 15:36:25

Wouldn't have a problem with it.

Yellowstone Wed 15-Jun-11 18:25:24

No problem either. We've had Army and RAF visits to talk about careers recently. DS2 and DS3 both keen/ incredibly keen. I'm not, but I'm not going to dissuade them if that's what they decide they really want to do.

Deaddei Wed 15-Jun-11 18:59:26

I wouldn't have a problem at all. In fact I would be very proud if the dcs wanted to join the RAF especially.

GnomeDePlume Wed 15-Jun-11 19:05:27

I wouldnt have a problem with it.

freerangeeggs Wed 15-Jun-11 19:22:08

I might have a problem with it. I imagine the army activities would be 'fun' things, physical activity stuff. I can't see the army coming in to teach kids about maths or geography, and I cynically suspect that it's because they want to recruit.

The daughter of someone I know was allowed to sit behind a gun mounted on a helicopter that had been on active service in Afghanistan when they visited her school - essentially a gun that had shot at people and possibly been responsible for a lot of deaths. I think, and her father thought, that this was utterly inappropriate.

Of course all the boys thought it was cool. It was in a very deprived area.

meditrina Wed 15-Jun-11 19:37:30

They brought a helicopter into a school! That's amazing (I've only seen them at the really big Army fairs, like the London-wide one that used to be held in Chelsea Barracks).

I don't think any potential employer or organisation would be invited into a school to teach maths, geography or anything. In fact, I think teachers would object very strongly to anyone who wanted to swan in to do that. But quite a range of companies and other bodies do go into schools to run activities (connected to, but not necessarily representing the full range of what they do).

I remember from the infants thread that we have a MNetter who is/was responsible for activities of recruiting teams. I hope she sees this and can describe exactly what is permitted (eg CCFs - who have much greater access to pupils than one off visitors are explicitly banned from recruiting) - and had offered to investigate any teams which were breaching their regulations.

madwomanintheattic Wed 15-Jun-11 19:41:34

all the boys?... the raf careers visit essentially recruited me at 14. although clearly i didn't actually join until much later. it was very useful. they told me exactly what qualifications i needed, and i planned my A levels and degree as a result. very motivating in educational terms. grin but that's probably not what you wanted to hear, this thread being an opportunity to spout off about the evil army recruiting canon fodder in deprived areas.

tbh, if the opportunity is to join the army, work bloody hard and climb your way up through the rank system, making the most of educational opportunities along the way and being taught a trade which will be useful when you leave, or living on benefits, i know which i'd prefer my own son to do.

they don't actually whack you on the head and drag you onto a boat in the middle of the night these days, y'know. it isn't a secret that you might get maimed or killed. it's an important part of the recruiting spiel. dh has been blown up (20% chance of survival and fortunately he did survive) and the dc's godfather also got blown up in a different place (again, survived, but two others in the same vehicle didn't)

if it's part of the ordinary career presentations, i have no issue with it. it is a career choice.

i wouldn't worry too much though, with all the cuts there won't be that much recruiting anyway. not until they realise they've made way too many people redundant, so you've got a couple of years.

i think it's really important that all the services take part in these events in schools. it is part of life. sanitising the real world for young adults about to have to take part in it isn't really very productive.

titchy Wed 15-Jun-11 21:42:48

Its for 12 to 13 yo so not a recruitment drive but yes lots of fun physical activities. Whats CCF by the way? Just don't like the implicit message that the army is fun... (though am sure some aspects of it are.
Not sure whether to raise my issues with school...

meditrina Wed 15-Jun-11 22:36:36

CCF is the Combined Cadet Force - found in many independent and some state schools. It's a school based version of the Army, Navy and Air cadets.

The Labour Government was keen on expanding the CCF in state schools and moved more cash into the budget to do this.

PonceyMcPonce Wed 15-Jun-11 22:41:03

We get the odd talk, but lots of our students are from services families, so logical really.

It is a career choice, but better to give young people a taster via cadets or ta, so can work well that way
.

Yellowstone Wed 15-Jun-11 23:00:10

I find it other worldly that parents think teenagers should be sheltered to the extent of leaving the Navy, Army and RAF out of the careers talks. I don't need homilies about the prospect of one of my DS's being hurt or about them having to obey an order to bomb civilians. But they're living in the real world too and have a right to consider the full range of options for when they become adults themselves. There are other less socially useful jobs where they may get run over going to work. Aren't army personnel healthier than any other UK social group? I'd prefer mine chose another option btw, their dad was in the Army.

AvengingGerbil Wed 15-Jun-11 23:01:37

In my day (the Dark Ages), the CCF was what the kids did who were not going to pass any CSEs. They got to stomp about wearing uniforms and wielding guns looking tough. But no-one seemed to point out to them that they would never get in to the army as they were practising their marching instead of learning to read.

Maybe it is different now.

GnomeDePlume Wed 15-Jun-11 23:15:11

AvengingGerbil many kids join cadets. Some of them even manage to learn to read. My DS is very much looking forward to joining air cadets. My DD2 is thinking about joining army cadets - apparently they will let her in even though she can read.

Yes, perhaps things are different now.

igggi Wed 15-Jun-11 23:28:35

I'm not happy with recruiting for army etc in my school as it is in a fairly deprived area. Recruiting kids who don't have much other hope of jobs bothers me somehow.

madwomanintheattic Wed 15-Jun-11 23:42:36

dear dear. i wondered how long it would take for the illiterate angle to be worked in. being mn, not long. grin

all soldiers are thick and uneducated, and the army recruits the lowest possible denominator for canon fodder, with particular specialty for luring those with no other options.

i do love mn. grin

madwomanintheattic Wed 15-Jun-11 23:43:48

<i did note that wasn't your message, gerbil. but it won't be long.>

meditrina Wed 15-Jun-11 23:53:34

The military is one of the biggest providers of adult education in the country. It would be a pity to say to children "you don't have much hope of any job, so we're going to deny you even introductory information about one you can join even with no qualifications and which will offer all sorts of trade training".

By mid-teens, children should be receiving information about as many potential careers as possible and be allowed to make up their own minds. Military recruiters work to a closely controlled script - there's no chance someone could go through the process without knowing what they're getting in to.

igggi Wed 15-Jun-11 23:55:07

It's not illogical to assume that children with fewer options will be more likely to take on the risks/rewards of a military career.

meditrina Wed 15-Jun-11 23:58:38

That might be true if you assume (wrongly) that the only military career is in the Army as a private in the infantry with no prospect of promotion.

It's not like that.

madwomanintheattic Thu 16-Jun-11 00:02:22

lol meditrina - i tried to write that earlier but decided it was pointless. i know countless people that the army have put through gcses, and even degrees and masters programmes. (and nvq's, but i try not to think about that too much)

igggi Thu 16-Jun-11 09:37:56

Unless the army is very top-heavy the majority of jobs must be at the lower level.

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