Cadet units in state schools: George Osborne announces £50m boost

George Osborne has announced a £50 million drive to increase cadet units in state schools in today’s Summer Budget.

The chancellor of the exchequer said the government would put the money towards expanding cadet units to 500 and would prioritise “less affluent areas”.

He told the House of Commons: “We are committing £50 million to expand the number of cadet units in our state schools to 500, prioritising less affluent areas.”

Mr Osborne also said the reforms brought in under the coalition government had gone “some way to tackling productivity problems”.

According to the Ministry of Defence, as of April 1 last year there were about 131,000 cadets. The majority of these are in the Combined Cadet Force (42,950), the scheme which is run through schools, with just over 41,000 in the Army Cadet Force.

Around 275 schools have Combined Cadet Forces, of which about one-third are in state schools.

It is understood the money for the scheme was requested by the Ministry of Defence. The MoD has come under criticism recently after Schools Week revealed it attempted to gain access to sensitive pupil data in order to help “target its messaging” around military careers.

Today is the first Conservative Budget since 1996.

More to come.

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