Providing evidence to support the continued funding of the Combined Cadet Forces in Schools

Impact: Social impacts, 03: Good Health and Well-Being (UN SDG), 04: Quality Education (UN SDG), 10: Reduced Inequalities (UN SDG)

Description of impact

In 2016 the Ministry of Defence (MOD) commissioned the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact to evaluate the social impact of the money they spend annually on the Cadet Forces (Community cadets - 84k and within the Combined Cadet Force (CCF)– school based units – 43k ), as part of a four-year longitudinal study. The MOD aim is that the Cadet Forces will contribute to the UK’s wider skills and citizenship development and support British society. The Cadets research produced two annual reports, which have been shared with the Ministry of Defence, Department of Education, Cadet Community Units and school based Combined Cadet Force (CCF) units. The annual reports provided evidence that the costs of the programmes could be balanced against the cost of exclusion and the stress caused by behavioural issues within the classroom, and have been used by head teachers to justify their spending on Cadets within schools.


Young people, especially those with poor school attendance, SEND (ASD), parents of cadets and school staff and local communities.

How have research outputs led to this impact?

Through the analysis of interviews with over 250 cadets, parents, school staff and volunteers, data collected over 3,050 surveys from cadets, volunteers and school staff, and data from schools on attendance, behaviour, SEND, IMD, disadvantage and risk of exclusion, the research demonstrated the powerful impact that the Cadet Forces have on educational inclusion, resilience and wellbeing, by offering an environment within which socially excluded young people can personally and socially develop. The research found that being a cadet can have a positive impact on attendance and behaviour, and has a benefit for young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) and teachers who become adult volunteers (CFAVs). Furthermore, cadets with SEND and their parents reported improvements to self-confidence, inclusion and resilience.
Impact statusOngoing
Impact date1 Jan 20141 Apr 2019
Category of impactSocial impacts, 03: Good Health and Well-Being (UN SDG), 04: Quality Education (UN SDG), 10: Reduced Inequalities (UN SDG)
Impact levelEarly stage Impact