Ex-army instructors boosting school results

military_stand_at_ease_1600_wht_1906Using ex-military personnel in schools has produced some impressive results.

The former soldiers have been greeting pupils at the school gates encouraging stragglers to hurry (give me 10?), have run whole-school exercise sessions before lessons and hosted VIP tables in the canteen as a reward. They also targeted groups of “at risk” pupils and whole year groups.

Michael Gove first suggested bringing ex-military personnel into school  in 2012 when he was education secretary and I blogged about it at the time.

He felt children could benefit from the values of a military ethos by learning self-discipline and teamwork.

Researchers at Swansea University have analysed these programmes in 15 school in the Midlands and North-west of England. These schools used a scheme called Commando Joe‘s for a year.

They found that “there was a significant intervention effect for conduct problems“. There was also a positive effect on attendance at secondary schools.

The biggest effect was on results though. Children improved their maths scores by 9%, reading by 10%, and writing by 2.5%

The scheme was not only popular with children but also with teachers who welcomed the extra help.


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