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Former bomb disposal expert set up charity

Former bomb disposal expert Mike Hamilton, 32, who served in the Royal Engineers for eight years - including two tours of Iraq and one of Afghanistan - formed Commando Joes' after leaving the army.

As well as a personal trainer, he was a member of a bomb disposal squad - on one occasion helping clear a whole minefield in an Iraqi village so children could play safely.

He went on to work as part of a recruitment team in the UK and during visits to schools noticed a need to help disillusioned pupils.

Starting Commando Joes as an after-school activity at schools in Manchester in 2009, he has slowly expanded, recruiting extra instructors to teach military-style fitness and one-to-one mentoring, as well as tailor-made team-building exercises and activities.

Charities to pair ex-military staff with disadvantaged pupils

  • All four use activities including one-to-one mentoring, military-style obstacle courses and team-building exercises.
  • They also help re-integrate pupils and prepare them for post-16 courses or jobs, as well as helping primary school children in their move to secondary school.
  • Headteachers working with all four projects to benefit from the funding have already reported an improvement in "difficult to reach pupils", making them less likely to be excluded.


Gove wants 'military ethos' in schools

The boost is part of a wider aim to bring military ethos into the education system, including expansion of the school-based cadets; developing the Troops to Teachers programme; and a rise in the Service Children Premium for Service Children.

Every child can benefit from the values of a military ethos.

Self-discipline and teamwork are at the heart of what makes our Armed Forces the best in the world - and are exactly what all young people need to succeed.

Exclusion from school should never mean exclusion from education.

These projects are helping pupils in alternative provision reach their full potential and are helping to close the attainment gap.

– Education Secretary Michael Gove

Ex-soldiers to visit schools to help expelled pupils

Former soldiers will be sent into schools to instil military-style training for troubled pupils.

Education Secretary Michael Gove Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Under a new £1.9 million initiative, four projects will be set up to pass on values taught in the military to children who have been excluded from school, Education Secretary Michael Gove said.

Ex-servicemen will be employed to help instil teamwork, discipline and leadership skills through mentoring, outward bound activities and other group exercises such as military-style obstacle courses.

Ministers have said they hope the schemes will raise standards among pupils in alternative provision - those who have been excluded from mainstream education - who often lag behind other children.

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