Almost 40% of army recruits have reading age of 11

  Forum Editor 07:44 18 Jul 2013
Locked

says a Commons Defence Select Committee report. It says the minimum entry requirement for new recruits is "entry level 2", which is the equivalent to the standard expected of a seven- or eight-year-old in literacy and numeracy.

All of those who joined the Royal Navy or the RAF in 2012 were above entry level 2.

Something's going badly wrong when, in the 21st century we can't even turn out 17 year old people who can read and add up properly, surely?

  Nontek 08:42 18 Jul 2013

Education standards have been going down and down ever since schools chose Trendy Teachers and teaching aids a long time ago. I am sure things will not improve either, certainly not in what's left of my lifetime.

To the demise of the three R's, as we knew it during the war.

Though I guess there is much more to it than I can explain here.

  wiz-king 08:47 18 Jul 2013

Numeracy - blame it on the use of calculators and the curriculum that does not teach mental arithmetic well.

Literacy - who needs to read when you can Google for an answer and then go back to your Playstation.

Simplistic but near the truth.

  johndrew 10:00 18 Jul 2013

I agree with both the above but would add that there was a time when parents read to their children when young and encouraged the reading of books when they were at school age. Now it's a case of the parents being in a 'must have' mentality and work being the way to achieve this; children appear to be more of a statement within this than the future of everything we know.

A sad state for the country really especially when there is no real need for it to happen.

  Forum Editor 10:36 18 Jul 2013

wiz-king

"who needs to read when you can Google for an answer and then go back to your Playstation."

All the Google answers in the world are no good to you if you can't read.

It's fashionable to blame calculators for numeracy problems in children, but it doesn't make sense - all of us need to count and do simple mathematical calculations if we are to function in society.

  Forum Editor 10:41 18 Jul 2013

johndrew

"there was a time when parents read to their children when young and encouraged the reading of books when they were at school age."

You've hit at least one nail squarely on the head there.

If parents themselves can barely read they aren't going to be of much use when it comes to helping their children. The problem becomes self-perpetuating, and it seems that for large numbers of children that's the loop they're in. My father, in particular, was a great reader, and he passed the love of it down to me during my childhood. When I went to school I was able to hit the ground running because of the work he had done in my early years.

  fourm member 10:50 18 Jul 2013

spider9

I agree with you. I also wonder how good these recruits are at paying attention if their school career has produced so little learning.

  fourm member 10:50 18 Jul 2013

spider9

I agree with you. I also wonder how good these recruits are at paying attention if their school career has produced so little learning.

  spuds 11:11 18 Jul 2013

I have been watching the Freeview BBC Parliament programme on both these issues with interest, and personally I am very surprised how it would seem people have only realised some of the issues now being raised.

Ofsted was set-up to find problems within our education systems, and if you look at some of their findings and reports, the writings were already on the wall.

I wonder how many youths think that its now the easy option to join the army, carry a gun as a possible solution of getting out of their own circle of being in the rat race. but then again, I suppose that applied to some of those that fought in the two world wars, when living and educational standards were different?.

  john bunyan 11:15 18 Jul 2013

The Royal Marines, in contrast, have 40% of "Other Ranks" with Officer level education - many have degrees. They also supply 40% of all SF from a base of only 5% of the total armed forces.

They can select , unofficially at a higher education level due to supply / demand issues; the basic training is the longest of any NATO infantry and may be a bit more expensive, but the end result is a formation that has had the least defence cuts, as they are nearly always the lead formation in conflicts, along with the paras.

Here endeth the publicity post!!

  Chronos the 2nd 11:42 18 Jul 2013

This can be put by the 'Target' culture that successive governments have reduced our society to.This then, over time, leads towards a target orientated environment, where, if you're not careful, actual teaching and doing a good job falls by the wayside.

Children are being failed by their parents who do not really want to play a role in their kids education and by teachers who are constantly trying to understand the latest Education Department directive on how or what children should be taught and of course on the various targets that exist.

We must accept that we are not all bright enough to go to university and to be quite honest this infatuation with getting ever increasing numbers of children into university is ridiculous. We need plumbers, joiners, brickies, mechanics ETC ETC and these guys need to be able to read and write to a decent level, we do not need more media graduates ETC.

Even in my day we were taught stuff that had no relevance then, since or now but we did learn to read,write and do basic maths.

There are far to many well paid advisor's coming up with 'clever' ideas which do nothing to address the basic problem to many kids are leaving school with poor reading Writing and arithmetic.

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