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.