On 7th June 2013 the Government launched “ShootFirst” a new programme to allow ex-soldiers (presumably including those who were made redundant in June) to train as teachers. Unlike students on a PGCE course or so called “high flying graduates” following the “TeachFirst” programme, these applicants will not be required to have a degree. It will be interesting to see how things work out in the light of the recent revelation in a Commons Defence Select Committee Report that “almost 40% of army recruits have a reading age of 11” So much for raising standards and making the English education system the best in the world.

Looking on the bright side, the literacy and numeracy levels of army recruits have improved since 2004 when according to the same Select Committee, army recruits had a reading age of 7. So it looks like Labour’s National Literacy Strategy did make a difference after all!

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