Youngsters need the rigour of a military-style education because they have ‘no self-discipline or sense of purpose’, the Education Secretary said.
Michael Gove attacked the declining virtues of the young yesterday, as he announced £1.5million funding to draft battle-hardened troops into ‘boot camps’ for unruly pupils.
He believes war veterans are needed to drill respect into troubled teenagers and provide them with role models.
Under the plans, to be unveiled today, 100 soldiers, sailors and air crew will be retrained as mentors for pupils excluded from school or on the brink of exclusion.
They will instill traditional values through physical drills, assault courses and practical lessons taught outdoors.
The grant, to charity SkillForce, will help some 400 pupils in its first year, and finance three projects based in Liverpool and Hull.
Mr Gove said: ‘There is a huge opportunity for those people who have served their country in uniform to serve their country in our schools. They have many of the virtues that parents feel have disappeared from our schools and need to be restored: self-discipline, a sense of purpose and a belief in the importance of working as a team.’
Dr Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Defence, welcomed the move: ‘The nation’s children will thrive under the mentorship of these courageous individuals.’
The scheme is the first of a series of measures to place ex-servicemen and women in the classroom to improve discipline.
Former officers – educated to degree level – will be fast-tracked as teachers in a scheme to be announced this spring. There are 16,000 children outside schooling.
Many have been excluded due to bad behaviour.