MSPs have called on the Scottish Government to ensure messages given to children by military officers on school visits are “appropriate” following concerns about pupils being encouraged to leave school and join the military. The Scotsman reports.
The Scottish Parliament’s public petitions committee said the government should carry out a nationwide study of the impact of school visits by the armed forces.
MSPs have also demanded more data on the number of visits in Scotland each year, calling on the Ministry of Defence to make clear exactly which schools it attends, and how often.
The committee’s report is in response to a petition by campaigners from Quakers in Scotland and ForcesWatch, who warned that military visits are “often more tailored and directed to those at risk of disengaging with education or work or those who struggle academically”.
Figures obtained using freedom of information powers revealed the military made 1,783 visits to 377 Scottish education institutions over a two- year period, offering careers advice on at least a third of occasions.
An MoD spokesman said school visits “are not done for recruitment purposes”, adding: “Our armed forces are the pride of the United Kingdom and keep us safe every hour of every day – it is absolutely right they engage with young people to share their experiences about the military’s contribution to our society.”
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