Gov Stats on the Cadet Forces

I recently stumbled across these .gov documents (see link) which extend back 10 years, albeit under a slightly different title prior to 2016. They are pubic domain statistics on the UK Cadet Forces but I’ve never heard anyone mention these before, and they’re certainly not sent round to units for general viewing.
They provide very interesting reading on how the UK Cadet Forces have evolved over this period. The cadet & CFAV numbers stated are obviously based on Bader/Westminster “official” data records which, I suspect in most Sqns/Units/Dets, are perhaps 40% - 50% inflated from the reality of regular attendances, ie simply divide stated overall cadets by units to give a crude indication. (MOD sponsorship being directly related to number of heads may account for these inflation’s).
The ATC fair comparatively well with their perhaps more flexible & enlightened view & process around adult recruitment, i.e. by allowing Civilian Instructor status and training them to deliver the syllabus. The ACF suffer much in this regard and adult recruitment (all require to be uniformed and trained over at least 18 months) is a major challenge to maintaining their detachment strength, many of which already only open once a week or amalgamate for want of trained uniformed staff . The SCC has comparatively reduced most in overall cadet numbers, particularly so when it is considered they introduced Junior Cadets (ages 10 to 12 years) which I believe are included in their overall numbers in these reports. Equally poignant is the average age of cadets which in the case of the SCC has dropped well below 13 and supports my previous comment.
The Cadet Forces I regard as the finest youth organisations any country could posses and made so by the undaunting efforts of its volunteers. I fear, however, that it terms of adult and cadet numbers the trend is sadly downwards, not helped by the increasing organisational bureaucracy imposed on CFAV’s, a lack of cross CF collaboration concerning human and physical resources, duplication and wasted money (3 x different HSE & safeguarding policies !!) and the diluting of more adventurous cadet activties eg shooting, fieldcraft , etc. Not a moan but the stark reality we all experience. We are part of a legion of well meaning volunteers that can’t devote our whole lives to the cause but will give plenty to provide the best experiences we can for young people, just “give us the tools and we will build it” !


Inspired by this thread, and the recent discussion about Value for Money I went digging into the Cadet Forces stats - specifically this lot…

It details a summary of the current situation for the size of the cadet forces (the Community Cadets (the Sea Cadet Corps and Volunteer Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps) and the Combined Cadet Force.

The thing that really stood out for me was that the ATC is the only cadet forces which has successfully “Grown” it’s pool of CFAV - by 7.8% since April 2015 - and by the look of that line, most of it in the last 12 months.

Now, the last 12 months has, IMHO, seen us take a bit of a hammering with regards staff based issues. The CFC debacle. The issues over “Sign the Volunteer Agreement or leave”. The never ending conveyor belt of “mandatory courses”. The general feeling of “urgh” being experienced by many staff. With new staff coming through, we’re got the the faff of admin, the wait of the DBS, the issues around AVIPs etc.

I therefore find it hard to believe that all this - and with no additional national recruitment push, region initiatives or support - has seen us not just grow our numbers with a handful of staff here and there - but a swathe of staff sufficient for us to claim a near 8% rise!!!

So what has changed?? Have we genuinely seen this growth? Or is there a reporting anomaly? Are we recruiting more staff cadets post 18? Are they now being included in the Staff AND Staff Cadet numbers in this figure (double accounting?)? Does this coincide with “Registered CivCom” being added as an option on Bader?

Is Dawn is being championed by the Director of Cadet Forces as the savior of staffing in the cadet forces - when infact, it’s a glitch in the system inflating the numbers? Or have we actually got it right and we have recruited 7.8% more staff to squadrons??

Without getting back to the raw figures we’ll never know - and I doubt we’ll get to see them. But I’m open to others ideas…

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We lost 2 staff members since 2015 and gained 2 about 7 months later. We also have 2 staff cadets joining the staff team in the next couple of months.

But numbers don’t always tell the full story
My attendance stats show 3 Green, 3 Yellow, 5 Red for this year

Now there are many factors for this - people on 1 night a week only, work priorities etc

On paper 11 staff looks very healthy - but just surviving 75% of nights is ‘character building’


Perhaps they are now counting the CWC in those numbers?

I have been waiting for over a year for 4 staff members to be “dismissed”.

The stats are bullpoo, if they were efficient i think the actual number would go down.

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FOI request???

it does seem odd to me.

unlike the Gliding pause and then more so with CFC i don’t know anyone who has gone because the volunteer agreement but that doesn’t mean to say people have gone or that I know of 100s of new staff.

it is a interesting figure, particularly if it is only for the ATC - if it was a broader brush i could believe it as a way the MOD is counting adults or something nationally which changed the populations eagerness to volunteer - but being only the ATC?? seems remarkable to me

although there has been no campaign in the last 12 months there was a MASSIVE event in 2018 - RAF100.
i know you are all now :joy: at that comment but that might have an impact - although 8%?? i’d be surprised if RAF100 had a 1% increase effect

Manipulate or massage figures all you want.

The feelings and morale of the Troops on the ground is the only true yardstick.


Not going to waste public money simply to satisfy my curiosity.

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Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

The fact it would seem that many of those that didn’t sign the VA are still on the books the staff numbers is probably bumkum. Also given the time it takes to get new staff sorted, this rise could just reflect people who have not been on the books for 2-3 years, suddenly appearing.

Why the focus on female cadet numbers? I thought with the all the equality claptrap we’d have moved away from this.

Could have a point there .I was looking through some old pictures of camps and such on my PC the other day.One was a parade from 2012.There we all are and of the staff at the front (inc me) there are only 3 out of the 7 still serving.

In today’s London Gazette there are at least 40 commissions terminated entries for the RAFAC. On the face of it that seems a lot.

Not at the rate HQAC gets admin done, they’ve probably been sitting on them all for years.

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How many of those stopped attending more than 5 years ago?

Link to relevant page.

Probably all the terminations for those who didn’t sign the volunteer agreement would be my guess.