Private schools will let state pupils join cadet forces

A ground-breaking agreement to allow state school pupils to join cadet forces in some of Britain's most elite private schools is to be announced this month. Six of the country's top fee-paying schools – including City of London boys' school and Highgate – have agreed to open up their Combined Cadet Forces to neighbouring state schools.

The move is designed to give more pupils a taste of army life and follows a call from the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, for more state schools to set up their own army corps to give their pupils more of a sense of discipline. All six schools involved in the first tranche are in London, but the scheme will be extended nationwide if successful.

The plan will be unveiled at the annual meeting of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference – which represents 250 of the country's most elite independent schools – at the end of the month.

The Schools minister, Lord Adonis, told a conference at Brunel University in west London yesterday: "This is a highly innovative programme which could be extended. It is the private schools sharing their expertise with the state sector."

At present, 200 private schools have CCF schemes, but only 60 state schools run them. In all, 42,000 pupils take part in cadet activities.

The agreement comes at a time when independent schools are under immense pressure from the Charity Commission to share their facilities with their state sector counterparts to justify their charitable status.

But critics have complained that youngsters should not be placed under pressure to join the army corps. David Gee, the author of a recent report by the Rowntree Foundation on army recruitment, said: "What school pupils have been telling me is they don't want their schools used for a government agenda of this kind. It's not an appropriate use of schools."

However, Lord Adonis said the argument was "totally spurious". He added: "It will only be done on the basis of willing schools, willing teachers and willing students. We're not seeking to impose cadet forces on any school that doesn't want one. There is a long waiting list of state schools that want cadet forces, for which there is no funding. There are not resources available. A large number of state schools want to take advantage of this initiative."

This year, a review commissioned by the Prime Minister and carried out by the Labour MP Quentin Davies recommended the setting up of cadet corps in state schools. Mr Davies said he did not see the cadet corps as training grounds for the military. "This is purposeful activity for young people," he said.

Under the deal, children from a state school would take part in cadet activities on a private school's grounds – raising the prospect of state school pupils learning the art of preparing for battle on the playing fields of Eton.

Meanwhile, Lord Adonis revealed that he had written to the heads of primary schools, urging them to select their brightest and most talented pupils for university "master classes" to stretch their talents after figures showed that about a quarter (4,000) had not joined the Government's "gifted and talented" programme – while almost all secondary schools (94 per cent) had.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people

Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando

Sport
Kim Sears is reported to have directed abuse at Berdych
tennis
News
news

Rap music mogul accused of running two men over in his truck

News
Gywneth Paltrow proposed that women seek out a special herbal steam-treatment service
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Film director Martin Scorsese
film
News
news

The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Humanities Teacher

£130 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Humanities Teacher Jan 2015 - July...

Tradewind Recruitment: Maths Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Our exclusive client in St Albans Hertfords...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee