The Army Cadet Force welcomes partnerships with schools in the local community. If you are from a school that would like to be associated with the ACF in your local community, please contact your local ACF county headquarters. Their details can be found via our detachment finder.

School-based ACF units

As a community-based organisation, the ACF’s activities normally take place outside school hours. However, in some cases ACF detachments are based in schools. Some are closed units, where only students from that school can be members, and some are open, which means that any young person from the local community can join there and the school simply makes its facilities available to us in the evenings.

Planned expansion of cadet forces in English state schools

On 30 June 2012 the Prime Minister announced plans to expand the cadet forces. The aim is to create 100 new cadet units based in English state funded schools by 2015 to help teach teamwork, discipline and essential life skills. Currently there are 324 cadet units in state schools across England. To find out more and register your interest in opening a cadet unit in your school, visit the Department for Education website.

Calling all teachers!

If you are a teacher looking for a way to use your skills in a whole new way, we would love you to consider joining the ACF as an adult volunteer. We would strongly welcome your extensive experience with young people, and will provide any necessary additional training (in specific cadet activities, for example) free of charge.

ACFA Outreach - for disadvantaged or disengaged students

Another way in which we work with schools is through our Outreach programme. Outreach is a youth diversion and early-intervention crime-prevention programme suited to youngsters who have low self-esteem or low personal achievement, are excluded from school, are socially disengaged or who engage in truancy or other behavioural problems. We work with schools to take a number of their students through a short programme of team-based challenging and adventurous activities, including a residential course of around 5 days, designed to show young people what they can achieve when given the opportunity.

Combined Cadet Force (CCF)

However, schools are most commonly associated with the cadet movement through the Combined Cadet Force which is based entirely in schools. There are currently CCFs in 256 schools, of which 196 are independent schools and 60 are in the state sector. A CCF contingent may comprise up to three service sections: CCF (Army); CCF (RAF); and CCF (RN). Some CCF (RN) sections also include Royal Marine Cadets – CCF (RM). The strength of the CCF in any school lies in the educational partnership between the MOD and the participating school. A school cannot run a successful CCF contingent without the full support of the Governing Body and the Head; and in return for the school’s commitment, the MOD provides plenty of support in the form of uniforms, training expertise, equipment and access to military training areas, camps and courses.