Head issues warning on cadet force funding

Yorkshire Post, 15/09/14, Brigid Tullie, Head of HMC associate school, Batley Grammar has warned that planned funding changes to Combined Cadet Forces (CCFs) could threaten the future of their unit.

The Government is planning to expand the number of CCFs across the country in state schools and hopes to create 100 new units by next year.

However, because these new units will be asked to pay towards their running costs existing units will lose some of their funding to avoid there being a disparity between established CCFs and the newly created ones.

The majority of units are run by independent schools and the Independent Schools’ Council has already voiced concerns about the plans. But the headteacher of Batley Grammar, Brigid Tullie, has warned that it could be even more difficult for state schools who have less flexibility over their funding.

Batley Grammar had been a private school for more than 30 years before it joined the state sector as part of the Government’s free school programme.

Mrs Tullie and the school’s contingent commander, Graham Dawson, said that the plan to expand the CCF programme could actually undermine successful existing ones because of the funding issues.

Schools running CCFs are set to lose their contingent grants and will eventually have to pay £150 per pupil on the programme, run jointly by the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Education.

Mrs Tullie said: “If the changes are brought in as they are being suggested it could cost our school £50,000 to run the CCF and that would be a step too far us. You are talking about a teacher’s salary or a couple of teachers’ salaries.”

Mr Dawson said the cadet force at Batley Grammar helped to give students leadership skills and enabled them to work towards a Btec qualification in public service. State schools have been told they can apply for a Cadet Bursary Fund to help offset the new costs.

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