The first ResPublica Green Paper, named Military
Academies: Tackling disadvantage, improving ethos and changing outcome has
received widespread acclaim, in Parliament, the press and the public alike.
Written by ResPublica Director Phillip Blond and Patricia
Kaszynska, Senior Researcher and Project Manager at ResPublica, the paper
outlines a new approach to tackling intergenerational disadvantage and the
social and educational dysfunction that cripples our most depressed areas. It
proposes a new network of transformative educational institutions, Military
Academies officially backed by the Armed Services and delivered by the Cadet
Associations which would teach the skills and discipline required to alter
outcomes for those who live in our most troubled towns and cities.
Since its publication on Wednesday 11th January, the
ResPublica Green Paper has received considerable interest and praise.
In Prime Minister's Question Time on the day of its publication, David Cameron expressed his interest
"I will look very carefully at the ResPublica report that
my hon. Friend mentions. We should empower our cadet forces to expand and
perhaps to go into parts of the country where they have not always been
present. The link that my hon. Friend makes between them and schools is a very
good idea, which we should promote and support."
Julian Brazier MP, who posed the question to the Prime Minister, later remarked:
“I fully support Military Academies and hope the Government will pursue the idea.
Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) often have low aspirations and lack educational skills. The academies would change the cultural and moral outlook of those currently engulfed by hopelessness and cynicism. The paper calls for the schools to be set up in NEET black spots – towns and cities where there is a large concentration of the population aged 16-24 who are NEETs.
Military Academies would create and teach from a unique curriculum, capitalising on the technical and vocational expertise already existing in the Armed Forces.
The Academies would promote a ‘whole person education’ emphasising the importance of character formation and high ethical standards, besides the more traditional and vocational skills by working closely with cadet organisations.
The programme would also create an additional incentive for joining our Reserve Forces by providing significant employment opportunities and clear career path for those considering membership.”
The publication has received widespread media coverage,
being reported in The Telegraph, Sky News, Press Association, The Sun, The Huffington Post,Morning Star, British Forces News, Scottish Daily Express, Wales Online, Charitytimes, Children & Young People Now and the Defence Management Journal.
ResPublica Green Papers are a new publication format from
The ResPublica Trust, the not-for-profit entity which undertakes all of
ResPublica's work in the UK. Designed to provide a discussion platform for
single exciting ideas in public policy, the purpose of these short, provocative
pieces is to outline an argument which could spark a debate and prompt feedback
and deeper reflection on the topic. Published and disseminated on-line, Green
Papers are used as a blueprint for future ResPublica activity.
This publication is part of a set of work from our Models
and Partnerships for Social Prosperity workstream encompassing reports,
roundtables and conferences that addresses the problems of intergenerational
deprivation and institutional disadvantage that compounds the lack of
opportunities for too many children and young people in the UK. The overarching
conviction uniting this work is that policy solutions capable of tackling these
problems have to operate on the level of groups and communities as well as
individuals. Past attempts at fighting destitution and disadvantage risk
failure because they were designed to improve only individual life chances
rather than to transform the outcome for deprived communities as a whole.
Unhappily, the effect of many policies aiming to increase social mobility was
to move a small number of individuals up the social ladder and leave their
communities behind. With social mobility in the UK remaining at the level it
was for those born in 1970 and the inequality gap haemorrhaging the aspirations
of those at the bottom, a radical rethinking of public policy is needed.
For further information regarding ResPublica's work on
education and skills, or wider work from the Models and Partnerships for Social
Prosperity workstream please contact Dr Patricia Kaszynska, Senior Researcher and Project Manager at ResPublica and co-author of the Military Academies paper, at Patricia.Kaszynska@respublica.org.uk.