A small team appointed by the Council of Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations reports annually on the Health of the Cadet Forces to the Chief of Defence People.
This reporting is an important element of the governance structure which ensures that all cadet activities are safe, fun, efficient and effective, deliver the benefits expected of the cadet experience, and achieve the outcomes which MoD has endorsed.
This Cadet Health Check report highlights risks to, and makes recommendations for, the future well-being and sustainability of the Cadet Forces. This year, the report focussed on five areas:
- Cadet Force Adult Volunteer churn
- The Cadet Expansion Programme
- Implementation of the Cadet Forces Commission
- Measures to reduce bureaucracy
Commodore J M S Fry Royal Navy, Head Youth & Cadets at the Ministry of Defence, recognises in his summary document that to attract and retain cadets, it is important to keep the ‘cadet experience’ relevant and engaging so the Cadet Forces’ Strategy includes the modernisation of the cadet forces’ syllabus to meet the expectations of young people.
The report has prompted the re-invigoration of the MoD Cadet Safeguarding Working Group, so that it can provide timely advice to the Youth and Cadet Steering Group.
The ongoing work by Professor Simon Denny at the University of Northampton on the benefits which the cadet forces bring to society is referenced as being able to evidence the improvement in performance at school that the cadet experience brings to students. Also noted was the recommendation to encourage Ofsted to more routinely credit schools which sustain a cadet unit.
The team will deliver its next report to the Chief of Defence People in December 2018.