Guardian letter re: military in schools
16 April 2008

The possibility that New Labour may "expand military cadet corps in English secondary schools" (Report, April 7) is deeply depressing. On October 1 1930, Einstein, Freud, Thomas Mann, HG Wells, Bertrand Russell, Jane Addams and the Society of Friends, among others, warned the world just after the Kellogg-Briand pact had repudiated war as an instrument of national policy: "There is a ... stark contrast between the peace declarations of governments and the maintenance and extension of military training of youth. Military training is the education of the mind and body in the technique of killing. It is education for war ... The older generation commits a grave crime against the younger generation if in schools ... youth are educated, often under the pretext of physical training, in the science of war."

At nearly 90, I definitely belong to the older generation. But, as I look back on a career devoted to education for life, which included helping to found the Open University, I beg the government not to expand education for war.

(Sir) Roy Shaw
Hove, East Sussex