Local MP Caroline Dinenage has today written to local schools encouraging them to consider joining the Troops to Teachers programme.

Troops to Teachers is about recruiting the very best service leavers into teaching in order to capitalise on the skills and experiences that personnel gain during their time in the Armed Forces. Given Gosport's proud military history, Caroline is keen for local schools to take advantage of the programme.

During Questions to the Department for Education yesterday afternoon, she highlighted the benefits of the scheme, asking:

"My Gosport constituency has very strong links to the Armed Forces, particularly in the field of Navy engineering. Does my Honourable Friend agree with me that schemes like this can only help to spread expertise to students in my area?"

Responding on behalf of the Government, the Minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson replied:

"I absolutely agree and I know that my Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State recently visited Bristol to see for herself the latest cohort being trained and was hugely impressed by both their calibre and their commitment. Along with my Honourable Friend, I would strongly encourage schools in Gosport and elsewhere to contact the University of Brighton to secure a trainee in their school for this September and benefit from the next tranche of Troops to Teachers."

Speaking outside the Chamber, Caroline said:

"The Troops to Teachers programme is a fantastic initiative which really takes advantage of the unique skillsets of former service personnel. It is not only of great benefit to the students who can learn from them, but also to the teachers themselves who can feel a renewed sense of purpose.

I hope that schools across Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent, Stubbington and Hill Head will sign up to the programme and support service leavers locally."