Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon welcomes research praising the work of the UK’s Cadet Forces

4 October 2017

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon praised the work of the cadet forces and drew attention to an independent research report, compiled by the University of Northampton, which sets out how joining the cadets provides a range of benefits to cadets, volunteers and the wider community.

Speaking at Albion Academy school in Manchester (3 October) Sir Michael highlighted the report's findings, announced the opening of 31 new cadet units in state schools (as part of the government's Cadet Expansion Programme) and emphasised the government’s commitment to all the cadet forces.

The University of Northampton undertook research across all of the cadet forces and found that

  • Cadet forces contribute to increasing social mobility and decreasing social disadvantage.
  • The social impact of cadet forces is vastly greater than the annual cost of the cadet programme to the defence budget.
  • Cadet forces help make communities more inclusive by helping people to overcome disadvantages in the way school does not.
  • Cadet forces help children receiving free school meals achieve their potential.
  • Children excluded from school who join the cadets are more likely to have improved attendance and behaviour on their return to school.
  • Serving soldiers who used to be in the cadets are four times more likely to be a senior non-commissioned officer or an officer.

Meanu Bajwa-Patel, Senior Researcher, The Institute for Social Innovation and Impact, University of Northampton said:

"The evidence so far has been overwhelmingly positive and demonstrates that the cadet forces can make a huge difference to social inclusion, social mobility and the mental wellbeing of young people. More research on the Cadet Expansion Programme and cadet forces across the devolved nations is planned, allowing us over the next three years to evaluate the social impact further."

The report also found that cadet forces help to develop an individual’s communication, confidence and leadership skills, as well as increasing their awareness of the Armed Forces and improving respect for veterans.

The full report is available on the University of Northampton's website.