Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Ormiston Park Academy get their marching orders

THE innovative multi million pound Ormiston Park Academy (OPA) is destined to be the first in Thurrock to receive approval for a Combined Cadet Force (CCF). The scheme aims to create 100 new cadet units in English state schools. OPA is one of the first.

This initiative spearheaded by the Director of Sixth Form and Cadet Officer: Lt Gregory Master-Jewitt, will help to change the fortunes of many of the young people attending the Academy. Mr Master-Jewitt said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the students from year 9 upwards to be offered the prospect of developing skills in areas such as responsibility, leadership, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance.” CCF contingents contain one or more sections from the Army, the Royal Navy, Royal Marines or the Royal Air Force, and promote the aims and values of the Services they represent.

The OPA Cadets CCF activities will take place after school. They will be provided with a uniform, parade on a weekly basis whilst receiving high quality military training in compass and map reading skills; rifle shooting and adventure training. As with the professional services OPA Cadets will have the opportunity to attend overnight 24 hour exercises and yearly central camp training in the UK.

In addition to the training the pupils will receive counts towards 80% of the following BTEC qualifications CVQO in Public Services.

In the past the CCF has been open to pupils at fee paying schools only, now it means all UK students will be offered the same opportunities to improve their futures.


  1. YT received this e-mail


    As you reported yesterday (‘Ormiston Academy get their marching order’ 26/03/13), Ormiston Academy will be amongst the first out of a proposed 100 new cadet units in state schools across the country. This scheme has been described by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as throwing schools a “lifeline” – language which we find to be in poor taste given the potential negative effects of such a move.

    Although cadet volunteers frequently express anger at the suggestion, the cadets are a recruitment tool. An estimated 15% to 25% of serving soldiers were members of the cadets. In the MoD’s recently published Defence Youth Engagement Review, Brigadier James Plaistow outlines just how valuable a recruitment resource the cadets are. In the light of these facts, it is hard to view the institution of a cadet unit in Thurrock’s worst-performing school without a little cynicism at the motives for such a move.

    The recruitment tactics of the military and the often misguided information given out during the recruitment process are the subject of ongoing criticism by organisations across the UK. Any move to further increase armed forces engagement with schools should be the subject of serious critical inquiry.

    I would suggest that parents, governors, teachers and students of the school do not accept this development until after a public consultation on the issue.

    Will McCallum
    Education campaign worker, ForcesWatch


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