Press release

New fund to expand cadet units in state schools

Government to kick-start the scheme with a boost of £1 million.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Thousands of school pupils will get the chance to be part of new cadet units thanks to a new £1 million bursary scheme, the Prime Minister has announced today.

The scheme will directly help state schools with the running cost of a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) – mixed cadet units based in a school – using money raised from banks following the LIBOR scandal.

100 new cadet units by 2015

The government has committed to set up 100 new cadet units by 2015 and while the set up costs will be covered, schools have to fund running and staff costs as part of their curriculum funding.

The new ‘Cadet Bursary Scheme’ will help schools cover this cost, with new units given support with their running costs and access to a roster of trained instructors. The money will help fund activities including expeditions, first aid, sailing and leadership training.

The £1 million from LIBOR fines will be matched by private sector contributions, with £300,000 already committed from organisations and individuals. Further investment is expected across all military cadet programmes over the next 4 years.

Helping young people develop important skills

The government is keen to use the cadet programme to give more young people the opportunity to learn about a military ethos – self-discipline, teamwork, punctuality and self-confidence.

The Prime Minister will meet with potential supporters and up to 80 cadets at a reception at 10 Downing Street this evening (18 June), which will include music from a cadet marching band.

The Prime Minister said:

Being a cadet is a fantastic opportunity that gives young people the skills you need to get on in life.

I want many more people to gain this type of experience no matter what their background, and that is exactly what this new funding will help deliver.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

This is a ground-breaking initiative to bring the benefits of cadet units to state school pupils. The new cadet units will teach discipline, self-confidence and teamwork – essential skills for succeeding in school and in life.

Thousands of children across England can now benefit from the cadet experience, previously largely restricted to independent schools.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

The Cadet Expansion Programme will help schools sustain and grow cadet numbers to ensure that as many young people as possible can benefit from gaining access to military themed activities.

This will help more young people develop important life skills such as leadership, self-reliance and endurance whilst increasing their self-confidence so they can reach their full potential at school at beyond.

Julie Taylor, Principal of Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough, said:

Having a Combined Cadet Force at Thomas Deacon Academy has significant benefits for our students. I am extremely proud of how the CCF contributes to the ambitious, disciplined culture at TDA. We want to help other schools understand the benefits for young people from a wide range of backgrounds and how the cadet experience can help transform the ethos of a school.

Tom Conroy from Thomas Deacon Academy said:

I enjoy the military experience and the camaraderie of being part of a team. It is a different sort of friendship. It influences how people behave in school; it teaches respect. Being a cadet has helped me realise that I can meet any challenge.

Megan Darbyshire, aged 14, from Longhill School in Brighton said:

I like CCF because it helps you understand leadership and improve skills that you would not normally learn in school. I joined because I had friends who were doing it and had told me how much they enjoyed it and I thought it would be good to learn some new stuff. I am now more confident in making decisions and have a better understanding about leading. I particularly like learning about survival skills and first aid. In the CCF we are given more opportunities to take on greater responsibilities than in any other part of school. We are given the chance to lead and take control and are trusted to get on with it.


Research shows children who have been cadets:

  • increase their academic achievement and decrease anti-social behaviour through an improved attitude

  • improve school attendance and classroom behaviour

  • have higher self-esteem, self-confidence and organisational skills

In addition to today’s announcement, the government is already investing £10.85 million over 3 years from 2012 to set up CCF units in state schools. Today’s announcement will provide further opportunities for schools to set up units.

The government has committed to 100 new cadet units across state schools in England by September 2015.

CCF units already established in state schools include:

  • Tunbridge Wells Grammar School, in Kent, an all-girls unit of some 160 cadets

  • City of London Academy Islington in North London, one of the first CCF units established. Sponsored by the Honourable Artillery Company, the school’s unit boasts more than 30 cadets

  • Brompton Academy in Gillingham, Kent, due to begin parading this September with more than 40 cadets

By involving charities and business in sponsoring cadet unit places, the initiative aims to create further benefits for schools, such as mentoring and work experience arrangements.

Published 18 June 2014