The Cadet Expansion Programme (CEP) was launched on Armed Forces Day in June 2012 by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister with the aim to deliver 100 new cadet units in English state-funded schools by September 2015.
This CEP target was reached 6 months early in March 2015 and following this achievement, the government committed an extra £50 million from LIBOR fines to further increase the number of cadet units in schools across the UK, bringing the total number to 500 by 2020. This target was also achieved 6 months early. Phase 3 of the programme is an ambition to grow cadet numbers to 60,000 by April 2024.
CEP is part of the Government’s aim of promoting military ethos in schools; to instil values in young people that will help them get the most out of their lives, and to contribute to their communities and country. This means pupils developing qualities such as self-discipline, loyalty and respect, strong leadership, teamwork and resilience which will help them achieve excellence and shape their own future. The programme focuses on Combined Cadet Force units ensuring that as many pupils from a state school have the chance to experience the life-enriching activities of military cadets as part of school life - this mirrors the military activity offered in many of the best independent schools in the country.