What is CCF?
The tradition of cadet units in schools goes back 150 years to 1860 and ever since it was formed in 1948, the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) has been recognised as a first-class, extra-curricular activity for the development of young people, and particularly to provide cadets with an exciting opportunity for teenaged cadets to exercise responsibility and leadership in a disciplined environment.
Today over 260 schools, in all parts of the United Kingdom, belong to this vibrant, inclusive youth movement with units, or contingents as they are known, found in all manner of State-funded and independent secondary schools and colleges. Children join between the ages of 13 and 18 and quickly discover adventure, excitement and challenge through tried and tested developmental opportunities within a unique educational partnership between the participating schools and the Ministry of Defence.
Through structured, military themed and adventurous activities, cadets take responsibility and develop the qualities of self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance, perseverance and a clear understanding of service to their country and their community. These are personal qualities which will remain of value throughout the cadets’ lives and will undoubtedly assist in the early stages of their chosen careers.
Hele’s School CCF contingent comprises of three Service sections the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force. The CCF is proud to promote the traditions and values of each of the Armed Forces whose uniform they wear; however, neither cadets nor the CCF’s volunteer officers incur any liability for service or compulsory training in the Armed Forces as a result of belonging to the CCF.
Each school contingent is led by a team of enthusiastic volunteer officers drawn, in the main, from staff within the school, although outside volunteers are also plentiful. Adult volunteers have the opportunity to gain nationally-recognised qualifications in leadership, management and outdoor pursuits. Cadet training takes place during weekly parades in school and this is supplemented with frequent whole-day and weekend training field days and annual camps and courses run by the Armed Forces, specifically for the cadets. Some schools provide the opportunity to gain diploma qualifications in Public Services and Music, and cadets can also use their CCF training to contribute to their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
The strength of the CCF lies within the educational partnership between the MoD and the participating schools. A school cannot run a successful CCF contingent without the full support of the Governance structure and the Headteacher. In return for the school’s commitment, the MoD provides plenty of support in the form of training expertise, equipment and access to military training areas, camps and courses.
Combined Cadet Force is a unique educational partnership which operates in schools across the UK. Through military-themed activities, cadets have the opportunity to develop skills such as leadership, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance. CCF contingents contain one or more sections from the Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines or the Royal Air Force, and promote the aims and values of the services they represent.