Officer chosen to help launch more cadet forces in schools

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A NEW position has been created to help launch more cadet forces in Yorkshire schools over the next three years.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced last year that by 2015 up to 100 more schools nationally would be able to develop cadet units.

Becky Seddon has been appointed as the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association’s 
(RFCA) cadet expansion officer in Yorkshire.

The 32-year-old’s role will see her working with cadets, the Department for Education (DfE), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and secondary schools across the region.

She said: “Over the next few months I’m looking forward to liaising closely with all parties to ensure the positive impact of this initiative in our region.

“The cadet movement is a terrifically successful organisation and it is hoped this programme will see many more young people benefiting from the excellent team work, self-discipline and many more essential life-skills the cadet movement teaches,not to mention a great deal of fun and experiences that most will remember for the rest of their lives.”

She has previously worked with the charity Prince’s Trust working in youth development in the region. Cadet forces are one of the largest youth organisations in the UK aimed at young people between the ages of 10 and 20.

Nearly 140,000 young people across the country belonged to a cadet unit.

When the expansion of the programme was announced the DfE said cadet forces help prepare young people for active involvement in community life adding: “Their military ethos helps foster confidence, initiative, self-reliance and a sense of service to others.”

The Government believes that the cadet forces can also help to transform the ethos of a school.

Schools interested in developing a cadet unit can set one up from scratch, financed through their own funding, or a sponsor, or they can establish a partnership unit with a neighbouring school where a cadet force already exists.

In either case the MoD can provide schools with uniforms and equipment and access to military training areas, a cadet camp and course programme and briefings for schools’ senior management teams.

The DfE says that setting up a new unit for 120 pupils would cost a school around £60,000 a year while a smaller partnership unit with 15 cadets would cost around £6,000 a year.

These costs are based on committing to a unit for at least five years.

For any new cadet unit or partnership schools also need to be able to recruit sufficient volunteers to run it.

Units are said to require at least two volunteers and a ratio of at least one adult for every 30 young people.

Mixed schools also need to ensure they have both male and female volunteers.

The RFCA is a community-based regional organisation which promotes and supports reserve forces and cadets in Yorkshire.

It is independent of the MoD.