St Albans MP calls for cadet forces in schools

PUBLISHED: 18:14 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:18 16 January 2018

Cadets from Marlborough Science Academy joined St Albans School's Combined Cadet Force (CCF) in a partnership sponsored by the Cadet Force Association in 2015.

Cadets from Marlborough Science Academy joined St Albans School's Combined Cadet Force (CCF) in a partnership sponsored by the Cadet Force Association in 2015.

Photo supplied

St Albans MP Anne Main has called for cadet forces to be supported in Britain’s schools.

She pressed Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to encourage Combined Cadet Forces (CCFs) and the recruitment of those cadets into the armed forces.

“Many of our cadets go on to serve in the forces they support. However, many cadet units have disappeared from our schools, which is a tragedy.

“May I put in a plea the cadets are not left out when we are considering recruiting people into our armed forces?”

CCFs incorporate sections from all three of the armed forces and involves school-age children in extra-curricular activities.

In 2014 Mrs Main helped secure £2.3 million of funding for CCFs across the country from the Ministry of Defence.

Mr Williamson replied, saying she was “absolutely right in her analysis of the important role that cadets play.

“Some 20 per cent of our armed forces served in the cadets. That is why the government are committed to opening 500 new cadet forces in schools right around this country.

“Cadets are so incredibly vital for our armed forces, but they also make sure, in communities right across the country, our armed forces play such an important role in the life of those local communities.”

Following the debate on Monday, Mrs Main said: “I am glad to have raised the importance of the cadets with the Defence Secretary and I am pleased he too appreciates the role they play in a young person’s development.

“More importantly, they are vital for future recruitment.

“I have always respected the teaching, discipline and structure that CCF training can give to young people and I am glad to hear this government will continue to support and grow this organisation in the coming years.”

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) sponsors the delivery of CCFs, who in turn advise the MoD and other organisations such as headteachers associations on matters relating to CCFs.

The CCF was formed in 1948, yet the history of cadet units in schools stretches back to the 1850s.

While previously the focus has been on recruting for the armed forces, CCFs now help young people develop.

To find out more about CCFs, visit combinedcadetforce.org.uk

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