Reserve Forces and Cadets Association
for North of England

Cadet Forces Expansion Programme

The Cadet Forces are among the UK’s largest and most successful youth organisations, with nearly 140,000 cadets across the country. Both the Department for Education and Ministry of Defence believe that the Cadet Forces can help transform the ethos of a school, and the Government’s Positive for Youth strategy highlighted its ambition for more young people from a wide range of backgrounds to benefit from the Cadet experience.  

Benefits to young people include:

  • Increased confidence, self-esteem and resilience
  • Development of self-discipline, self-reliance and leadership
  • Greater aspirations, along with opportunities to gain qualifications
  • Sense of service to others, to the community and team-work
  • Action, adventure, fun and friendship

However, it is not only young people who benefit.  Schools which have set up cadet units have seen significant benefits to the school itself, to the staff who have got involved, and to the local community.

Benefits to the school & community include:

  • An observed improvement in student behaviour and discipline
  • Improved relationships between students and teachers
  • Positive role modelling by cadets for other young people
  • Wider opportunities for staff development as Cadet Force Adult Volunteers
  • Increased visibility and reputation of the school and its students in the community
  • Practical cadet support of community activities and events

The North of England RFCA has a Schools Cadet Expansion Officer (SCEO), whose role is to advise schools on the type of unit that may be most suitable for their circumstances, and to assist throughout the process. Schools may register their interest via the DfE website, or may contact our SCEO, Karl McMichael, on 0191 383 6257 or via email

Sea Cadets on the Tyne at Derwenthaugh

An Air Cadet learning to fly a glider.

Army Cadets learning First Aid.