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Cadet Bursary Fund

The Cadet Bursary Fund supports the establishment of new cadet units in schools, particularly in less affluent parts of the UK.


Managed by the Combined Cadet Force Association (CCFA) the Cadet Bursary Fund (CBF) supports state schools, particularly those in less affluent parts of the UK, with the costs of establishing and sustaining new CCF units, set up as part of the Cadet Expansion Programme. 

Why are cadet units in state schools important for young people?

The published evidence on the cadet forces, and case studies of individual cadets all suggest that young people gain significant benefits from being a member of a cadet force such as the CCF. The aim the CBF is to provide access to the opportunities offered in the CCF to a greater number of state school students.

Research tells us that becoming a cadet can change a young person’s life. The experience:

  • Improves cadets’ life chances: they are more likely to do well at school and less likely to become NEET (not in education, employment or training).
  • Builds both character and skills: cadets develop self-confidence, resilience, communication skills, teamwork and team-leading skills, and the ability to interact with others. The fact that involvement in a school cadet force can last up to five years means that this experience can be more effective than other, short-term, interventions aimed at developing character and life skills.

Why is funding needed?

Cadet units in state schools are not part of statutory provision. While the interest from state schools in setting up a cadet unit is high, funding is the key constraint for many, and the availability of funding through the CBF for the costs of establishing a unit often makes the difference to a school’s decision on whether or not to go ahead. Where the level of demand means that not all schools’ funding requests can be met, funding is directed to those schools in the most deprived areas of the UK, where the benefits and the impact of having a cadet force are greatest.

Many of the costs of running cadet units are met by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). However, schools have additional costs to meet, including employing a coordinator for the cadet unit, and providing cover for teachers who are acting as Adult Volunteers while they are away on cadet duty.

Find out more

If your school is interested in establishing its own CCF, you can find out more on the Cadet Expansion Programme page or contact us with an expression of interest. 

The Combined Cadet Force Association (CCFA) is a registered charity which exists to promote the ideals and activities of the Combined Cadet Force.  As well as coordinating the Cadet Bursary Fund, it produces marketing and communication materials for the Cadet Expansion Programme, and CCF as a whole. The charity provides other funding opportunities that CCFs can apply for - for further details see the funding opportunities page.

You can find out more about CCFA and how you can help to support the work of the Association here.