And why ever not?
An article today in The Guardian / The Observer is sparking a debate on Twitter. (You can read the article here.) Teachers come from all walks of life, so why should this be an issue? According to the article:
Candidates, from the army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, wouldn't need a degree and would undertake two years training on the job, with one day a week at university, qualifying them in around half the time it usually takes to become a teacher.
And why ever not?
I regularly have tears in my eyes when I look over the CV of a service leaver - what they have undertaken in terms of training and qualifications could easily fill a page. They have trained, led, planned, worked in teams. None of it - repeat: none - seems worth anything in civvie street.
Now, if "troops" become teachers, they still have to go through all the same assessments, tests, and exams. They won't automatically become teachers - they have to pass.
So what's the problem?
Nobody says - as suggested by Mr. Northice from the "frontline" (I assume he means the frontline in the classroom") - that someone who has served is, per se, a good role model for children. That's why they don't automatically qualify as teachers!
But he's more seriously wrong in his assumptions about service personnel. He says that:
the Armed Forces are about using violence, force, aggression and/ or coercion to maintain the dominance of a nationalist narrative within a country's domestic and foreign policy, and the experience of its citizens' cultural life. That is not teaching.
No, of course it isn't. Nor does it reflect the daily reality of being in HM Armed Forces. Mr. Northice - if that is your name - have you actually ever spoken to somebody who is serving? I have spend a lot of time over the past two years doing just that; and I can assure you that 99% of the time, aggression, force, violence would get you nowhere and would be sanctioned. Even out in Afghanistan, their aim is to work with the local police and population - not fight them.
The Service personnel I have met were, without exception, friendly, polite, humble, articulate, attentive - and calm. I've never witnessed any of them lose their temper, raise their voice, or insist on being right.
So - if they pass and make it into teacher training - then they will be extremely good role models, indeed.