The Cadet Expansion Programme, originally established in 2012, aimed to enable pupils in state schools across the UK to enjoy the benefits of the cadet experience.
What is it?
With nearly 120,000 cadets in the military-sponsored cadet organisations across the country, the Cadet Forces are among the UK’s largest and most successful youth organisations and among the most successful youth organisations in the world, with a long history of developing young people’s skills and attributes and helping them grow.
Both the Department for Education and the Ministry of Defence believe that the Cadet Forces can help transform the ethos of a school, and the Government’s Positive for Youth strategy highlighted its ambition for more young people from a wide range of backgrounds to benefit from the Cadet experience.
The Government’s objective is to see more state schools have access to a cadet unit, as this would significantly increase the number of young people able to access the cadet experience in a way that is likely to have significant benefits to schools and young people.
In 2012 the government announced its Cadet Expansion Programme (CEP) which aimed to have 100 more Combined Cadet Force (CCF) units to increase the overall number to 350, the vast majority of which were in public and fee-paying schools.
The aim of the CEP was to target state schools so that they could enjoy the same benefits. The initial phase of the CEP was on demand with the target achieved in 2015. This was followed by a second phase with the aim to increase the number of CCFs up to 500. The CEP now included the devolved administrations and had a more targeted approach, for example where there were no other cadet units or in areas of deprivation.
We are in the 3rd phase of CEP with the aspirational aim of increasing the number of cadets to 60,000 in the CCFs across the UK Extended due to the pandemic it is hoped the target can be achieved by March 2024, building up CCFs through the use of partnerships with other schools but no increase in the overall number of units.
Within Greater London, although we have just over 50 CCFs it involves over 80 different schools where a partner school provides adult volunteer support as well as the opportunity for their pupils to participate. Cadet units provide a stimulating environment of challenging, adventurous and activities within the framework of a progressive training structure.
The Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association for Greater London has appointed a Schools Cadet Expansion Officer, whose role is to advise schools on the type of unit that may be most suitable for their circumstances and to assist throughout the process.Register interest