Ashford School CCF partnership passes major inspection with flying colours

Posted on October 24, 2018

As 1 Compressed

Ashford School and Wye School’s Combined Cadet Force proved a real credit to themselves and the schools when they took part in their Biennial Inspection and Open Day on Saturday – and achieved the highest pass possible.

The Biennial Inspection of a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is the most important day in the cadets’ calendar as they welcome high-ranking officers from Cadet Force headquarters who assess their quality, learning and achievements. The guest of honour and Inspecting Officer was the Deputy Colonel Cadets, Lt Col Saunderson, accompanied by the Officer Commanding Cadet Training Team, Major Gray MBE.

“This was a truly superb day,” said Mr Michael Hall, Headmaster of Ashford School. “The cadets demonstrated with ease all the skills they have learnt from their time in the CCF – leadership, teamwork and confidence – and showed a real sense of pride in their achievements. We were privileged to welcome two of the most experienced and professional officers within the CCF for our inspection and Saturday was an exceptionally proud day for us all.”

Ashford School and Wye School’s CCF was formed under the government’s Cadet Expansion Programme and offers cadets aged 12-18 the chance to learn valuable life-skills through military training. As well as taking part in drill and learning how to safely handle and shoot weapons, they have enormous fun challenging themselves on assault courses and adventure training, as well as taking part in an annual camp.

Cadets used their inspection on Saturday to demonstrate their achievements to parents and other guests. Junior Non-Commissioned Officers and cadets organised and delivered lessons including Skill at Arms, basher building, camouflage and concealment and archery. They marched as a squad during the formal parade before enjoying a Contingent lunch and an inspirational leadership talk from Mr Kevin Godlington, an Ashford School parent and military veteran.

Guests were welcomed by Ashford School’s Head Mr Hall and the Contingent Commander Lt Donna Davidge who took them on a short tour of the school including the CCF training grounds. 

The parade saw Staff Sergeant Inspector WO1 Simon Burke bringing the contingent to attention and giving the order to parade. Staff members Lts Duncan Ricks and Donna Davidge took the inspecting officer around each rank of cadet and, after a quick talk with each of the cadets, Lt Col Saunderson took his place at the front of the parade to watch the cadets march off.

“The whole day was a real success,” said Staff Sergeant Inspector WO1 Simon Burke, who trains the cadets. “As well as an educational open day, the inspection was for most of our cadets the first time they have been involved in a formal parade and it was a truly proud moment for us all.”