Forcing the issue

PUBLISHED: 12:07 07 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

Captain David Prowse addressing the St Albans School cadets

Captain David Prowse addressing the St Albans School cadets

AN INDEPENDENT school is ready to offer advice to any other school thinking of setting up a combined cadet force (CCF). The headmaster of St Albans Boys School, Andrew Grant, said they would be more than happy to run a taster day so pupils and staff from

AN INDEPENDENT school is ready to offer advice to any other school thinking of setting up a combined cadet force (CCF).

The headmaster of St Albans Boys School, Andrew Grant, said they would be more than happy to run a taster day so pupils and staff from state schools could see what CCF had to offer.

The announcement follows a meeting held by Government ministers last month, attended by the headmaster, to discuss the introduction of cadet forces into comprehensive schools.

Mr Grant supported the proposals and explained the value of CCFs but Ministry of Defence representatives stressed that adding cadet forces to comprehensive schools would require substantial funding and overturning preconceptions.

The issue is being debated nationally after being proposed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Lord Adonis.

A recent review by Labour MP Quentin Davies favoured the plan as a way of giving valuable and purposeful activity to young people.

St Albans sixth former Joe Wragg was recently interviewed in a national newspaper on his experiences of the school's CCF. He said those involved in the activity learned about leadership and teamwork.

"As you get more senior in the CCF and begin to lead you gain organisational and teaching skills and how to deal with people younger than you as well as more practical skills," he explained. "You gain so many experiences to look back on with pride."

St Albans's own CCF force was praised at its annual inspection at the Woollams playing fields where Group Captain David Prowse inspecting said it was an excellent CCF at an excellent school.

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