Michael Gove hoped that 2000 ex-service personnel would want to become teachers, but only 28 finally qualified.
Those who did join the scheme found the transition from battlefield to the classroom quite difficult, as many of the skills learned on the firing range, and in close combat, are not readily transferable to the classroom.
Chorley High School, took on a trainee ex-serviceman called Sgt Hardnut, in the hope of turning round a few discipline issues that they had in the school. Headteacher Clive Bracknell told the Druid’s Loom:
“Initially, the strict discipline of the Sgt Hardnut, was quite a novelty. Students were quick to show him respect, especially the disaffected boys in our classes. “
The placement however turned sour, when in one lesson, a student complained that someone had stolen her pen. Sgt Hardnut, did as any normal teacher would do, and kept the whole class behind, until the offender handed over the missing item.
When this proved ineffective though, he resorted to waterboarding the suspects which resulted in four students being hospitalised. The pen was found under a bookcase, where it had rolled earlier in the lesson.
In a second incident, a new Year 7 boy, turned up late to a lesson having accidentally gone to the wrong classroom.
Sgt. Hardnut, shouted and screamed directly at him and only stopped when the child wet his pants. The boy in question has been unable to return to school since and is undergoing treatment for post traumatic stress.
“Teaching is a fine balance between discipline and empathy. You need to have both,” Mr Bracknell explained. “Don’t get me wrong, there is a need for sadistic, emotionless bullies within the school setting, but P.E teachers pretty much have that sewn up.”