Quakers in Britain oppose expansion of cadets into state schools

News Release 08 July 2015

Quakers in Britain oppose expansion of cadets into state schools

In today’s Budget the Chancellor announced £50 million to expand cadet forces across 500 state schools. Quakers in Britain say this pledge is the latest evidence of the creeping militarisation of schools in England by the Department for Education.

Helen Drewery, General Secretary of Quaker Peace and Social Witness, said: “Ultimately, militarism in schools leads to two kinds of recruitment: the recruitment of teenagers into the armed forces, and the recruitment of wider society to be war ready. Both go undebated. Why can’t we invest in education for peace, not war?”

Just released by the Quakers, a provocative short film, called The Unseen March  highlights the dangers of this increasing role of the military in education, and the normalisation of war. It says cultivating unquestioning support for the military in the children of today makes war more possible tomorrow.

Ends

Notes to editors

• Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends.

• Around 22,000 people attend 480 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

• The Unseen March (5.38 minutes) is online at www.unseenmarch.org.uk

• Military involvement of schools is rooted in Former Education Secretary Michael Gove’s launch of a ‘military skills and ethos programme’, a programme pursued by his successor Nicky Morgan and allocated to Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families. Copies of The Unseen March have been sent to Nicky Morgan, who has yet to reply.

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