Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Audience and P Radice (on right side of pic holding papers)

Audience and P Radice (on right side of pic holding papers)

Militarisation in Schools

A local Head Teacher, Paula Radice, addressed the subject of ‘Militarisation in Schools’ at a packed meeting in Hastings on 5 September . She called for a balanced view on the military to be allowed in schools. Working in the education system she has observed the changing relationship between schools and the military, and traces the changes back to UK deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. John Enefer writes.

The aftermath of the invasion of Iraq led to recruitment problems and concerns that the relationship between the public and the armed forces was breaking down due to UK involvement in a war seen by many as unjust and unnecessary.

Paula Radice outlined how, in response, successive governments have tried to bring the public more onboard with members of the armed forces and the campaigns they fight, through the setting up of Armed Forces Day and other initiatives. Paula observed that governments try to exploit public goodwill towards members of the armed forces in an attempt to gain backing for conflicts and military spending.

Paula explained that recent collaboration between the Department of Education and the Ministry Of Defence has led to the setting up of more military schools, a massive expansion of the Cadets programme, pupil visits to military bases and so on. She said that there are now 11,000 school visits by the military per year and that these visits which promote careers in the Forces, gloss over realities such as bullying and prejudice in the army, as well as the high incidence of post traumatic stress disorder and homelessness among ex-Forces people.

Paula Radice made it clear that as a Head Teacher, she had no objection to the military coming into schools but that, as well as the military viewpoint, a different perspective should be expressed to allow children to weigh things up and come to their own opinions. She explained that she feels an uncritical acceptance of military solutions and approaches is unhealthy: “If we have a militarised society it closes down debate about how we can resolve conflict.”

On the subject of what parents can do if they have concerns on this issue, Paula said “The first thing they can do is contact Head Teachers and ask if the armed forces are going to have direct involvement in schools and ask what they are going to do to ensure their children get a balanced view?”

Hastings Against War banner

Hastings Against War banner

The meeting on 5 September was jointly held by Hastings Against War and the Hastings and District Interfaith Forum. During the meeting the lively programmes of both groups were outlined for the audience. The meeting began in a relaxing way with the sound of ‘healing bowls’ played by local resident, Sarah Evans (pictured above in rainbow coloured dress). The bowls vibrate at different pitches and are believed to have healing properties.


Posted 17:16 Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017 In: Politics

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

Leave a comment

Also in: Politics


    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal. It’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us

  • Subscribe to HOT