Report promotes national service for the poor, says NASUWT

Commenting on the Report Military Academies – Tacking Disadvantage, Improving Ethos and Outcomes and Revitalising our Armed Forces, produced by the think tank, ResPublica, which calls for academies run by the military to be set up in areas of deprivation, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:

"The Report is based on a cynical misuse and misrepresentation of the causes of the riots in the summer.

"There is no evidence of either the widespread involvement of people from deprived, working class communities in the riots or that they instigated them.

"The proposal amounts to nothing more than the disgraceful, unjustified vilification of whole communities, promulgating the view that if you are poor and working class you must, therefore, be inclined to criminality and anti-social behaviour.

"Like the many of those in Government, ResPublica appears to have no understanding of the complex and deep rooted causes of poverty and the issues which led to the riots.

"ResPublica's proposals amount to nothing more than a crude simulation of army life through, what is in effect, national service for the poor.

"The answer lies not in this Report but in the abandonment of the fundamentally flawed economic and social policies of this Government which are disempowering, alienating and disenfranchising young people.”