Providing evidence of the social impact of Cadet Forces in schools, leading to the continuation of the Cadet Expansion Programme

Impact: Public policy impacts, Social impacts

Description of impact

The research provided evidence to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Department for Education (DfE) of the efficacy of the Cadet Expansion Programme in schools and its social impact. This led directly to the continuation of the programme and its support by the MOD and DfE. Additionally, the research has informed the MOD's conversations with other government departments/agencies, including OFSTED. The research has been disseminated and launched at the highest levels of government, including by two Defence Secretaries and being presented in the Prime Minister's Office, and has had a clear and unambiguous effect on government policy in this area.


Ministry of Defence, Combined Cadet Force Association, Department for Education, Schools, Young People

How have research outputs led to this impact?

In July 2016, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Combined Cadet Force Association (CCFA) and CVQO, a UK education charity and learning provider, commissioned the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact (ISII) at the University of Northampton (UoN) to undertake a four-year study designed to help understand the social impact of the spending on cadets and the Cadet Expansion Programme (CEP), as well as the benefits of the qualifications provided by CVQO. As there is no universally accepted definition of what social impact constitutes, the brief agreed with the project Commissioners, that underpins the project is: “using Government data and figures, and data gathered through original research, the project will measure and report on the economic and social benefits delivered by the Cadet Forces to individuals and society”.

The financial value of every aspect of social impact delivered by the four MOD-sponsored Cadet Forces (Sea Cadet Corps, Combined Cadet Force, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps) is not possible to quantify exactly (future reports will improve the reporting of financial benefit). However, the evidence gathered for the first interim report clearly demonstrates that the value of the social impact that Cadet Forces deliver is vastly greater than their annual cost. These benefits go across Government departments and are clearly relevant to Defence, Education, Social Services, HMRC and the Cabinet Office. Cadet Forces deliver impact that is directly relevant to the Prime Minister’s vision of a ‘shared society’ and clearly contributes to increasing social mobility and decreasing social disadvantage. Future research will seek to substantiate these early findings and explore the social impact of the CEP in state schools across the UK.
Impact statusCompleted
Impact date8 Oct 2019
Category of impactPublic policy impacts, Social impacts
Impact levelMature Impact