New bursary for ex-service personnel

I have welcomed a move by the Government that will see pupils in Fareham and across the country benefit from the leadership of our Armed Forces.

The government has unveiled a new £40,000 bursary for ex-service personnel to retrain as a teacher. From September 2018, courses at universities nationwide will offer the incentive to veterans who have left full-time employment in the British Army, Royal Air Force or Royal Navy in the last five years, or anyone leaving before training begins.

The new bursary will help ex-personnel – who have spent their career honing the discipline, motivation and unique skills needed to become great teachers –transition to the classroom where they can share their expertise and professionalism with the next generation.

The bursary is part of the Department for Education’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant – the nation’s promise to those who serve or who have served – and will be offered on priority undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry, computing, maths or modern foreign languages.

Our ex-service personnel offer a level of expertise, life experience and professionalism that cannot be found anywhere else. Qualities developed through their military experience, such as leadership and self-discipline, are directly transferable to the classroom and to pupils themselves. I know this would be of great benefit to pupils in Fareham.  They have already given so much service to our country, it is only right that we support them to retrain when they decide to return to civilian life.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: "academic standards are rising, with 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools and a record 15,500 more teachers than in 2010. We want this trend to continue and to explore every opportunity to attract the best and brightest into teaching. Our ex-servicemen and women – who have already contributed so much to our country – have a wealth of experience and expertise that can be shared in the classroom, teaching pupils the knowledge they need to succeed alongside vital skills, such as leadership and self-discipline."

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "our incredible troops have unrivalled life experiences and world-class skills that will motivate and inspire a generation of children in classrooms across the country. Through leadership, teamwork and problem solving, veterans are ideally suited for a career in teaching once they leave the Armed Forces. This programme not only offers our valued veterans a new and fulfilling career, it will help our children achieve their aspirations and life goals."

Chief of Defence People, Lieutenant General Richard Nugee said: "this initiative, under the Armed Forces Covenant, is another great addition to our wider resettlement offer of courses, mentoring, and advice, helping our serving personnel successfully transition into civilian life."

I graduated from the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme last summer, a scheme that enables MPs to experience life in different parts of the forces so they can be better informed in debates. I completed a number of exercises in the UK with the Army, and took part in cold weather training in Norway with the Royal Marines Commandos (as seen in the picture).