The government has already committed to funding the set up of 100 cadet units by September next year, but schools involved are required to meet staffing and running costs themselves.
However, the Department for Education (DfE) this week announced that a new “Cadet Bursary Scheme” has been created with money raised from banks following the LIBOR rigging scandal.
The DfE wants the money to fund activities including expeditions, first aid, sailing and leadership training.
It is hoped that the £1 million will be matched by private sector contributions, and the DfE said that £300,000 has already been pledged from “organisations and individuals”.
The government set up the cadet programme in 2012 and has allocated almost £11 million to fund the set-up costs of 100 combined cadet forces. Ministers see the cadet forces as a way of instilling in young people skills such as “self-discipline, teamwork, punctuality and self-confidence”. Priority for the original funding was given to schools judged to be “good” or “outstanding”.
Among the units already established is an all-girls units of around 160 cadets at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School in Kent, and a unit of more than 30 sponsored by the Honourable Artillery Company at City of London Academy Islington in north London.
Julie Taylor, principal of Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough, which also has its own cadet force, said: “Having a combined cadet force has significant benefits for our students. I am extremely proud of how the force contributes to the ambitious, disciplined culture at (the school).
“We want to help other schools understand the benefits for young people from a wide range of backgrounds and how the cadet experience can help transform the ethos of a school.”
The bursary announcement was made this week by prime minister, David Cameron. He said: “Being a cadet is a fantastic opportunity that gives young people the skills you need to get on in life. I want many more people to gain this type of experience no matter what their background, and that is exactly what this new funding will help deliver.”