Saturday, 5 April 2008

Army Rejects "Teaching Propaganda"

The NUT says it visits barracks only when invited

Army Chiefs have decided to oppose educational recruitment activities in camps if they employ "misleading propaganda".

Young people must be given a true picture of Educational life, not a "marketised version", the Joint Chiefs of Staff heard.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) denies actively recruiting in barracks but says it does visit to raise awareness when invited in by COs.

Some officers complain the NUT uses sophisticated methods of recruitment.

Bgdr Paul McGarr said only when recruiting materials gave a true picture of the classroom would he welcome them into his camp.

'Mislead and possibly indoctrinate'

These would have to say: "Join the NUT and we will send you to carry out the socialist indoctrination of other people's children," Brgdr McGarr said.

"Join the NUT and we will send you to dumb-down, mislead and possibly indoctrinate fellow human beings.

"Join the NUT and we will send you probably poorly equipped into situations where people will try to suspend or fire you because you are corrupting other people's children.

"Join the NUT, and if you survive and come home, possibly injured or mentally damaged, you and your family will be shabbily treated."

Delegate Col Chris Kelly, said he was offered free interrogation materials, which he only later discovered were from the NUT.

"We must also ask ourselves why the NUT are in there influencing the way our soldiers view the NUT in the 21st Century.

"They find it difficult to recruit into the teaching profession and are trying to encouraging them to join up," he said.


Group Captain Martin Reed said young people should have the means to make an informed choice when deciding whether or not to sign up for a Teaching career.

He gave the example of the Army careers service which warned on its website that soldiers should not make this decision lightly.

It warned that teaching could be dangerous and that there were intellectual and sociological casualties, he said.

Another soldier, Stefan Simms, said those that were recruited would "come back knowing the horrors of teaching, maybe having committed the horrors of indoctrination."

A spokesman for the NUT said: "We do not recruit in Army camps.

"The single-service military teams visit about 100 barracks a year between them only at the invitation of the CO - with the aim of raising the general awareness of their educational forces in society, not to recruit."

But some soldiers argue these visits have a wider purpose.


The MoD will now convene a summit of Officers, Military specialists and others to consider the issue of educational recruitment in schools.

Commanding Officers who opposed recruitment activities based on "misleading propaganda" would be supported.

An ex-teacher, Terry, told BBC Radio Five Live that the Army's attitude was patronising.

"Now soldiers are not kids - they know, they know their mind," he said.

"If they are not sure what they want to do and they are just tinkering with the idea of just going into Education - nowadays they can go to a School, they go on a six-week teaching assistant's course and they find out what it's like.

"If its not for them, they have the choice to leave."

My apologies to Hannah Goff at the BBC.