Brigadier David Allfrey, the commander of 51 (Scottish) Brigade, says that the army has as much right to promote its career prospects in school as any other profession.

School visits by Forces presentation teams must be allowed in order to build more support for troops.

Teaching unions and some charities have have demanded an end to the Army visits to schools.

Brigadier Allfrey said: ‘We only go into schools when we are invited, we are not recruiting. What we do is explain our place in society, and explain what our vocation has to offer.

‘We’re an important pillar of society, and we should be able to go into schools in the same way that a lawyer, or a judge, or other professions would.’

In 2007, Scotland’s largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland, demanded that army recruitment campaigns be stopped in schools.

The National Union of Teachers debated in March this year the unsuccessful motion that Ministry of Defence ‘propaganda’ should not be permitted in schools.

Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers said: ‘I don’t have a problem with balanced careers advice, but youngsters should not be exposed to hard-sell techniques – by any profession.’

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