First state-school based cadet force to be formed  in region

First state-school based cadet force to be formed in region

14th July 2014


A COMMUNITY is being called to arms to help with the formation of the first state-school based cadet force in the region.

Staff and students are being mobilised at Darlington School of Mathematics and Science to form a combined cadet force.

But the potentially life-changing initiative needs the backing of sponsors to finance operations.

CCFs are traditionally associated with independent schools. They have a proven track record of boosting self-esteem and self-reliance and equipping students with a host of life abilities including punctuality, leadership and social skills.

On a practical level the organisation also helps young people tackle the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and can lead to qualifications in areas such as navigation and First Aid.

The North of England Reserve Forces and Cadets Association school expansion officer Liz Green said: “The Government wants to expand CCFs in the state sector because they provide opportunities for young people to develop a host of skills which could boost their employability.

“Units become extended family with cadets forming bonds which last a lifetime and they develop some amazing transferable skills which can’t fail to impress potential employers.”

The scheme requires £225 a year per cadet to pay for uniforms, resources and staff training. Units work in the community with a variety of organisations including charities and their local Army Reserve Unit.

They attend an annual camp in the summer to hone and develop team, leadership, outdoor and sporting skills.

George Plumb, 15, who is a lance bombardier in the ACF and hopes to be an officer in the Royal Artillery one day, said: “Being a cadet teachers you all sorts of useful skills whether you want to joined the Army or not.

“You learn about teambuilding and other skills, you make new friends and form strong bonds. I think all young people would benefit from it.”

Head teacher Calvin Kipling added: “We already have extremely close links with the armed forces as many of our parents serve in the military.

“CCFs instil a sense of pride and discipline that will help shape students’ lives in an environment which is both exciting and a great deal of fun.

“Funding permitting the unit would be up and running by January and this provides an excellent opportunity for any local businesses wanting to do something really worthwhile for the community.”

For more information on how to help contact Liz at or phone 0191-383 6257.

News in July