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Quick march from parade ground to classroom

Troops hoping to become teachers will enter the classroom after studying for a new kind of degree being developed specifically for them.

Instead of having to go to university for three years, former members of the armed forces will be able to qualify more quickly than graduates through the "bespoke" and "compressed" course being developed by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA).

Those with degrees will also be able to enter the classroom faster if they enrol in the Teach First scheme, which provides six weeks of training before starting work, or the proposed Teach Next programme, designed to encourage second careers as teachers.

Some former service personnel have already expressed interest in joining the profession since the Troops to Teachers scheme was confirmed in the education white paper last year.

A statement on the TDA's website says: "The coalition Government has also recently asked the TDA to work with universities to explore the possibility of a bespoke undergraduate route into teaching that could help armed service leavers who have the relevant experience and skills but who may lack the required degree-level entry qualification."

The number of service personnel going into teaching has increased in the last three years, according to figures from the Careers Transition Partnership (CTP) - a resettlement service part-funded by the Ministry of Defence. In 2008, 48 went into the classroom. This rose to 57 in 2009 and 68 in 2010.

The DfE has promised to pay PGCE fees of any former serviceman or woman wants to retrain as a teacher.

In 2008, when the Conservative party first proposed Troops to Teachers, it estimated that 200 soldiers would retrain as teachers in the first year.

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