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Troops to Teachers scheme misses target

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A controversial scheme to turn former military personnel into teachers has trained just a sixth of its target number of veterans during the first two years, TES can reveal.

The Troops to Teachers initiative had 180 places for its first cohort, which completed training this month. But only 32 people have finished the course and become teachers.

The government-backed scheme had attracted controversy from the start because the plans to retrain former soldiers as teachers were sold as a way to bring a “military ethos” into struggling schools.

John Howson, director of TeachVac and an expert in teacher recruitment, said that he would be surprised if the scheme continued as a separate entity in the long term.

The figures have emerged after official reports criticised the organisation of the Troops to Teachers project.

The 2015 National College for Teaching and Leadership annual report says that there have been “challenges on recruitment” for the initiative.

A Department for Education spokesperson said Troops to Teachers was offering “talented service leavers a chance to inspire the next generation” by teaching leadership, teamwork and resilience.

Are you surprised that this controversial scheme has failed to attract significant military personnel to the teaching profession? Share your opinions on TES Community.

This is an edited version of an article in the 22 January edition of TES. Subscribers can read the full story here. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here. You can also download the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. TES magazine is available at all good newsagents.

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