Forces Watch

Thu
14
Aug
2014
New translation available
Submitted by hannah

The UK armed forces visit thousands of schools each year. They offer school presentation teams, ‘careers advisors’, lessons plans, away days and more. While they claim that this is not recruiting, the Ministry of Defence itself states that the...

Fri
18
Dec

British Army urged to stop using armed teenagers to guard barracks

By Shiv Malik, The Guardian

ForcesWatch report calls on UK military to stop recruiting minors altogether, as armed forces bill due for third reading

Britain’s military should stop using armed under-18s to guard soldiers’ barracks, a report into Ministry of Defence recruitment practices is set to say.

Tue
23
Jun

Young People, the Military, and the Aftermath of the UK’s General Election

It has been more than a month since the General Elections in the UK which ended up with a Conservative Party majority in the Parliament. We asked Forces Watch* to review these results and their implications on the militarisation of youth in the UK for Antimili-Youth.

Thu
05
Mar

The British Armed Forces: Propaganda in the classroom?

Here is a critical review of The British Armed Forces, a "learning resource" produced by the UK government and sent to schools. The video is made by Quaker Peace & Social Witness as part of their joint project with ForcesWatch. Read a full analysis here.

The British Armed Forces: Propaganda in the classroom?
Thu
05
Mar

Critique launched by Forces Watch and Quaker Peace & Social Witness against the UK Government's 'learning resource'

This week Forces Watch from the UK launched a critique, with Quaker Peace & Social Witness, against the Government's 'learning resource' about the UK armed forces.

The report and video examines The British Armed Forces Learning Resource (published in September 2014 by the Prime Minister's Office and promoted to schools by the Department for Education) and finds that it:

  • is a poor quality educational resource, unsuitable for many of those it is aimed at (pupils aged 5 to 16)

  • is politically-driven

Fri
19
Dec

The UK – Recruiting An Army Of Teenagers

Did you know that the UK armed forces recruit 16-year-olds? Owen Everett from ForcesWatch explores the UK military’s wide influence in the education system and the concerns that arise from this.

The UK is the only country in the European Union that recruits 16-year-olds, and the influence of the UK military within UK schools, colleges, and universities is increasing. This article focuses upon the military’s influence in secondary schools and colleges, and challenges the ethics of the UK’s military recruitment.

Tue
16
Dec

Military activities in UK schools & colleges: what are the issues and what you can do

Military activities in UK schools & colleges: what are the issues and what you can do

This 2-sided ForcesWatch briefing (2014):

  • outlines the extent and nature of armed forces visits to schools
  • details the Department for Education's 'Military ethos in schools' policy.
  • outlines the concerns about these activities 
  • suggests what students, parents and others can do to challenge them.

Download here.

 

Fri
08
Aug

Engage: the Military and Young People

A short film made by Headliners and ForcesWatch, 2014

Why does the military have a 'youth engagement' policy and why is the government promoting 'military ethos' within education? What is the impact of military activities taking place in schools? ForcesWatch have been working with the charity Headliners and a group of young people in London to produce this short film which explores these questions and gives teenagers the opportunity to voice their reaction to the military’s interest in their lives.

Engage: the Military and Young People
Fri
08
Aug

WRI sign letter on British 'Armed Forces Day'

Photo: ssafa

Letter to The Times (see all signatories below)

On this day 100 years ago, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo in an action that led to the First World War. Unchecked militarism in Europe was also a major factor. 

Today is also Armed Forces Day, one of the clearest indications of the re-militarisation of British society. Established in 2009 to increase public support for the forces, there are over 200 public events, many billed as 'family fun days'. This week also saw Uniform to Work Day promoting the reserve forces and 'Camo Day' in schools. 

Fri
14
Feb

Mind the Gap: Education for minors in the British armed forces: report

Mind the Gap: Education for minors in the British armed forces

Child Soldiers International / Forces Watch -

 The minimum recruitment age for the British armed forces – 16 years – is one of the lowest in the world. The Ministry of Defence has traditionally justified recruiting from this age group by asserting that 16 years reflects the minimum statutory school leaving age.

However, as a result of successive governments’ policies to increase upper secondary education participation rates, over recent decades the number of young people leaving education and entering employment before the age of 18 has decreased significantly. Today, only a very small percentage of young people leave education at 16 (six per cent in 2009/2010). Apart from the Ministry of Defence, the only other institution which seeks to attract and retain this age group is the education system itself. It is with schools and colleges, not other employers, that the Ministry of Defence directly competes to recruit young people.

Fri
14
Feb

Chris Rossdale, City University London: Raising awareness, taking action: video

Forces Watch -

The Militarisation in Everyday Life in the UK conference was held in London in October 2013 and was organised by ForcesWatch. It brought together academics, writers, activists and campaigners who are researching, writing, campaigning on, or just concerned about the implications of the militarisation of everyday life in the UK.

Chris Rossdale, City University London: Raising awareness, taking action: video

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