Armed Forces: Schools

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many visits representatives from the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force made to schools and colleges in (i) Wales, (ii) Scotland, (iii) England and (iv) Northern Ireland in the financial years (A) 2017-18 and (B) 2018-19.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The Armed Forces only visit schools and colleges when they have been invited to support activities. No visits to schools by the Armed Forces are directly linked to recruitment, other than specific careers/jobs fairs which generally involve a range of employers. While presentations may be given highlighting the careers available in the Armed Forces, no pupil is able to make a commitment to become a recruit in the Armed Forces during the course of a visit. The visits cover a range of activities such as career events, citizenship talks, science and maths challenges and other indoor or outdoor exercises. The purpose of the visit is always agreed in advance.

In the academic year 2017-18, centrally held records indicate that the Navy conducted an estimated 3,240 school visits and the Army carried out 4,710 visits. Records held by the Royal Air Force (RAF) indicate that in the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 the RAF visited 2,310 schools.

It will take time to collate the information for 2018-19 and to establish whether the figures can be broken down by country. I will write to the hon. Member when these enquiries are complete.

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