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Armed Forces: Schools

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to extend the skill force programme in schools. (195275)

Skill Force was started in September 2000 by the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Education and Skills (now the Department for Children, Schools and Families). It uses ex-military instructors to provide the teams which support schools to re-engage disaffected 14 to 16-year-olds with vocationally based education. It was always intended that Skill Force should become a charity and in 2004 it received charitable status.

Since then MOD has provided Skill Force with £10.3 million and funding from other Government Departments (DfES now DCSF) amounts to £9 million. Skill Force will become fully self-supporting in Financial Year 2009-10 when further funding from MOD will cease. Thereafter, the expansion of Skill Force into schools will not be an MOD responsibility.