New cadet units across England will be given a £10.85 million boost so that more young people can join up and take pride in their community, the government announced on 30 June 2012, Armed Forces Day.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Department for Education have committed the money to roll out 100 new cadet units across state-funded schools in England by 2015. This will give thousands of children the opportunity to learn leadership skills, volunteer in their communities and build their self-confidence.
Over the next three years, the new cadet units will be created through partnerships with existing units in schools or by creating completely new units. The £10.85 million will go towards essential equipment and training of staff. Interested schools will simply need to demonstrate they are able to provide the adult volunteers and third-party funding to maintain the unit.
Research has found that cadets tend to have high levels of respect for authority and high levels of self-esteem. They are likely to be committed citizens, with high aspirations and a greater sense of community. The vast majority, nearly 80 per cent, said being a cadet has helped them stay out of trouble.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said:
Cadet forces provide an exciting and challenging way for young people to learn teamwork, self-discipline and respect. They have made a hugely positive impact, especially in boosting standards and discipline.
By extending the scheme in state schools, more young people can benefit from the cadet experience. It will help them develop into well-rounded, accomplished adults fully prepared for life beyond school.
We know many schools with cadet forces have a partnership or collaboration arrangements with neighbouring schools to allow more young people to take part. We want to see more partnerships to allow schools to share their expertise and facilities for the benefit of all.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
Cadet forces offer a great opportunity to gain life skills and we are determined to ensure that we open that opportunity up to as many young people as possible. The funding announced by the government today will kick start an exciting new phase in the development of our cadet forces - fostering greater social mobility, and raising awareness of the values and ethos of our armed forces among local communities.
Notes to editors
Interested schools can apply before 30 September 2012 via the Department for Education’s website.
There are four major MOD sponsored cadet forces: the school-based Combined Cadet Force and the community-based Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps. Between them 26,000 adult volunteers deliver life changing training to some 140,000 young people a year. There are currently 3,280 cadet units across all four cadet forces in the UK, 324 of which are in state schools.
The first of the 100 new units has already been organised and is being funded by the charitable side of the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), a historic Territorial Army unit in the City of London. It will be based at City of London Academy, Islington, and will be formed in September 2012.
The four cadet forces are military-themed youth organisations (not junior armed forces) with a strong emphasis on social inclusion. They are subject to government legislation and do not have the legal exemptions enjoyed by the armed forces.
Cadets follow a structured syllabus and many gain externally recognised qualifications like St John Ambulance First Aid certificates, Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards (bronze, silver and gold) and vocational qualifications in public service and music. Popular activities vary across the different cadet forces but include climbing, flying (powered and glider), sailing, power boating, target shooting, field craft, overseas expeditions, community work and diving.
Priority will be given to schools and academies with a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating with a high rate of free school meal pupils but this will be balanced by MOD’s ability to support extra units in that area.