The General Officer Commanding Major General Richard Stanford MBE from Regional Command welcomed the delegates and introduced a wide range of speakers. Both he and Paul Kett, Director General of Education Standards at the Department for Education, reaffirmed their commitment and support for cadets in schools. Major General Richard Stanford MBE said: “This is a fantastic event to get all the Headteachers together from those schools who want to take the real benefit of having a cadet force in their school. Some great discussions from the Department for Education, from the Ministry of Defence and of course from the Head Teachers themselves on how we can extend this benefit to many more schools around the country.”
There were lively cadet presentations from all three services, as well as an interim report from Professor Simon Denny of Northampton University of the findings in the Cadet Social Impact Research Project.
Huw Derrick, Principal of Ormiston Academy, when talking about his experience in setting up a CCF Cadet Contingent, commented: “It’s great to hear of the continued support for cadet forces across the country. We had a difficult journey in setting up our own cadet force but all I can say is it’s been worth the struggle. Our cadets have now experienced stuff that they would never have experienced except in cadets, they have increased their confidence, they are better leaders and their attendance and behaviour are all improving.”
Conference delegates took full advantage of the plenary question and answer sessions which followed. One of the real benefits of the day was the opportunity to network, share experiences and ideas. The conference room was full of experience which delegates were keen to share and learn from.
Before heading home from RAF Cosford delegates had a brief opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the museum. Planning for the 2018 Conference is already under way.