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 two key areas:
- Communications up and down the cadet force ‘chains of command’
The team found that the scale and complexity of these two areas was more than could be captured fully in one reporting cycle. The 2018 report is therefore an interim report which will be supported by further work in 2019.
The report summary predicts the recently-reinvigorated MOD Cadet Communications Working Group should provide a forum for sharing good Communications practice. It draws out that while the governance and delivery of safety management within each cadet force is sound, there is currently no active forum for the sharing of good practice and experience between cadet forces other than at the MOD’s 1-star Youth & Cadet Steering Group. A tri-Service safety day will be held in Jun 19 to work out the best way of achieving this.
The summary also reiterated from last year’s report, the importance of gaining Ofsted recognition of the benefit delivered by cadet units in state schools, in order to secure the enduring commitment of schools to the cadet programme.
Commodore J M S Fry Royal Navy, Head Youth & Cadets at the Ministry of Defence, says in his summary document that it is therefore pleasing that, since the report’s completion, Ofsted’s chief inspector has published a new draft education inspection framework which proposes to judge ‘personal development’ separately from ‘behaviour and attitudes’ to encourage schools to prioritise extra-curricular activities such as their cadet unit.
The team will delivered its next report to the Chief of Defence People in December 2019 and a summary of that report is expected to be published in March 2020.