March of cadets is way out of step

17th June 2005 at 01:00
I have a daughter at one of the comprehensive schools that have latched on to the combined cadet force (CCF) as a way of boosting their positions in GCSE league tables. When she was 12, a senior teacher addressed her year group, saying pupils who joined the cadets would learn to handle a rifle.

One girl who wondered aloud what she would want to use a rifle for was ignored.

I am surprised Btec is willing to lend these activities a veneer of respectable vocational education. Weapons training is hardly useful preparation for careers such as ambulance-driving or fire-fighting in which the purpose is to save lives.

Running cadet forces in schools is at odds with this country's responsibilities under the United Nations' convention on the rights of the child, which restricts the recruitment of children into the armed forces.

It is particularly sad that this can happen in a school in Brighton, a United Nations peace messenger city.

Judith Watson Brighton

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