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Armed Forces personnel to go into schools, Conservatives pledge
09-29-2008, 10:11 AM,
Armed Forces personnel to go into schools, Conservatives pledge
Quote:Service men and women will go into schools to mentor young tearaways, while troops will receive free teacher training and university tuition, the Conservatives will pledge.

In a speech to Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on Tuesday, Michael Gove, the shadow schools secretary, plans to say that vulnerable children need positive role models, and would respect the advice and example set by those who had served in the Armed Forces.

He will also unveil plans for a "UK GI Bill," similar to that offered to US soldiers in 1945, which would pave the way for a free university education for all those who had seen active service.

In a drive to get more ex-service personnel to enter teacher training, Mr Gove will set out his Troops to Teachers policy, with £9,000 bursaries available in subject areas with a shortage of new recruits, such as maths and science.

He is expected to say: "In 1945 the American government honoured the men and women who'd fought against fascism - the greatest generation - with a piece of legislation - the GI Bill - which granted returning heroes the right to free university tuition.

"The young men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are the heroes of our time - their sacrifices in the cause of freedom make them the greatest of our generation - and they deserve the thanks of all of us.

"That is why a Conservative government will honour their service by guaranteeing them the right to free university tuition.

"And we will make sure that the sort of training only the armed forces can provide is available to young people across the country in our areas of greatest need by … ensuring that ex-servicemen and women who want to work with young people in need can move quickly to a career in teaching."

The Conservatives estimate that around 1,000 former members of the Armed Forces would take up the offer of free university tuition each year.

Mr Gove will also expand on proposals to open thousands more independent schools by adopting the "Swedish" model of state education.

Under the Tory plans, which would involve the greatest shake-up of the education system since the war, parents would be given the power and funds to start up their own local school if they were unhappy with the existing options in their area.

The new independent schools, of which there could be up to 3,000, would be funded by the tax-payer but provided by the private sector, with a paired-down national curriculum and fewer restrictions on entry requirements.
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