ARMY cadet units will not be permitted to operate in state schools north of the Border, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

Ministers said there was no change to the long-standing policy in Scotland that units could not be based at council-run schools.

The intervention came after UK defence minister Sir Michael Fallon suggested he wanted more units to be allowed in Scotland during a discussion about a pilot project at Maxwelltown High School, in Dumfries.

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However, it later emerged that Maxwelltown is delivering leadership and Duke of Edinburgh programmes in partnership with the Cadets from June this year and is not contemplating a stand-alone unit. At least seven other schools have formed partnership with the Cadets to deliver training courses since the scheme began in 2015.

A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council said: "Maxwelltown High School will deliver a leadership and Duke of Edinburgh programme in partnership with the Cadets from June 2017.

"The programme will be offered to pupils in S3 and will be one of their wider achievement option choices. The programme aims to develop leadership skills in the young people who choose to take the course."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman added: "There is no proposal being progressed to introduce a UK Government scheme to establish cadet units in Scottish schools.

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"The pilot at Maxwelltown High School is significantly different to the UK Government scheme, which we have made clear is not suitable for introduction in Scotland’s schools because it does not contribute to the curriculum.

"Instead of separate cadet units, our approach is focused on how voluntary youth organisation the Army Cadet Force can contribute to the Scottish curriculum as part of our national youth work strategy."