This is an old news story by now, but one that has been mulling around in my head for a while.
Last week, at their annual conference in Manchester, the National Union of Teachers voted to stop the Armed Forces from recruiting pupils in schools. The NUT believes it is a form of 'indoctrination,' with the Armed Forces deliberately targeting kids from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
I come from a family of teachers and have enormous respect for the profession, but on this issue the NUT seems to have shot itself in the foot. The Armed Forces are not indoctrinating anyone. They are, however, providing kids with information so that they can make better, more informed decisions.
I remember when I was 16 and all three services came in to my school to give a career's talk. Ultimately, it was not for me, but I remember being impressed listening to the men and women talking that day and I learnt a lot about Britain's military.
The Armed Forces can provide an excellent career path - with training opportunities and career progression that you would not get elsewhere. You are not seriously telling me that young people don't understand the risks that would entail from a career in the forces. They see evidence of it everyday on their TV screens. Let's give them some credit. And lets applaud those people that still join and serve their country. For me, that is real bravery.
All the Armed Forces are doing is providing kids with information to help make a choice. I would have thought any sensible teacher would have supported this. It is a real shame that the NUT hasn't.
It looks like elements of the loony Socialist Workers' Party may have had a hand in orchestrating this. If that's the case and the SWP or similar have taken over parts of the Union, then the NUT will soon find out that no one is listening to it.