All items from ForcesWatch

14/03/2017 ForcesWatch comment

The military and arms industries are putting large sums of money into our education system and into STEM educational material for schools. Science4Society Week is a chance to focus on learning from less destructive employers.

07/03/2017 ForcesWatch comment

Our petition lodged at Holyrood along with Quakers in Scotland on military visits to schools has taken a significant step forward.

24/02/2017 ForcesWatch comment

We report on the recent debate in Parliament arguing that the age of recruitment to the UK armed forces be raised.

21/02/2017

With the presence of the military in public spaces increasing and a high level of popularity for the armed forces, it is not always easy to respond to challenging questions that people pose in when faced with concerns expressed about militarism. Here we explore some responses to questions about how much the armed forces should be involved in our everyday lives, how they relate to young people, and the effectiveness and consequences of military action.

18/01/2017 ForcesWatch comment

Telling adolescents that they can resolve their need to belong by joining the Army is simplistic and one-sided. The reality is many aspects of army life are potentially harmful, especially to vulnerable individuals. The other side of the story needs to be told.

09/12/2016 ForcesWatch comment

A history teacher from Coventry got in touch with ForcesWatch to share her experience of teaching Remembrance to year nine classes this year after reading the resource Rethinking Remembrance in Schools: 'Teaching about Remembrance this year was a vastly different experience for me than previous years'.

30/11/2016 ForcesWatch comment

Members of the Scottish Parliament have agreed to seek further evidence on our joint petition – with Quakers in Scotland – calling for greater scrutiny and guidance around military visits to schools.

23/11/2016 press release

MSPs will consider what further action to take on a petition from ForcesWatch and Quakers in Scotland calling for increased transparency and scrutiny of armed forces visits to schools this Thursday (24 November).

12/11/2016 ForcesWatch comment

The Royal British Legion is asking the public to 'Rethink Remembrance'. Can we remember without obscuring the realities of war and overlaying this important act with militarism?

02/11/2016

This paper, published by ForcesWatch in 2016, explores ways in which teaching remembrance in schools can be used as a way of encouraging critical thinking about what and how we remember, and how this can be used to foster a culture of peace.

It discusses the importance of encouraging emotional engagement in the consequences of war and of avoiding euphemistic language that overly sanitises and simplifies its causes and consequences. The paper looks at educational opportunities in exploring the meaning of the white poppy as an alternative to the red poppy and alternatives to violent responses to conflict.

The paper includes some ideas for how to teach remembrance and provides links to education resources and background reading for use around remembrance and wider education for and about peace.

18/10/2016 ForcesWatch comment

This article was first published in the Morning Star.

The Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, recently announced that 25 out of 150 proposed new school cadet units would soon be opening. Despite the presentation of this development as new policy, the Cadet Expansion Programme promoting cadet forces in state schools, was first announced in 2012. While the Government heralds the cadets as a silver bullet in terms of improving pupil attainment and development, the sight of ranks of pupils as young as 12 in military gear and handling weapons will ring alarm bells for many. That this is happening within education raises additional concerns.

21/09/2016 ForcesWatch comment

Back in March we asked Holyrood to ensure ‘guidance is provided to schools', ‘information is collected to provide public monitoring’ and ‘parents/guardians are consulted’ when it comes to visits by the military. Last week we gave evidence to the Public Petitions Committee.

13/09/2016 press release

A petition calling for increased transparency and scrutiny of armed forces visits to schools in Scotland comes before Holyrood this Thursday 15 September.

13/07/2016 press release

ForcesWatch is raising ‘serious concerns’ about aspects of the Farnborough International Air Show designed to engage children and young people in careers and ‘exciting’ activities. The‘air show’ is taking place this coming weekend. Associated events this week include a major arms fair, civil aerospace exhibition and hosting of military delegations from some of the world’s most repressive regimes.