Millfield School in Somerset has officially launched its Combined Cadet Force (CCF) programme partnered with St Dunstan’s School in Glastonbury with an inspection from Major General Ben Bathurst CBE.
Millfield’s CCF is aligned to the Welsh Guards and has evolved from a voluntary after-school activity to a specialised programme with a full-time School Staff Instructor (SSI). The programme involves over 100 cadets from all year groups, including 15 boys and girls from St Dunstan’s School. Acting as St Dunstan’s Sponsor Unit, Millfield CCF has been in partnership with St Dunstan’s School since November 2018. All participants benefit from a government grant that covers staff support, kit and heavily subsidised field and international trips.
The school was honoured to welcome Major General Ben Bathurst CBE, who in his decorated military career has completed three staff appointments in the Ministry of Defence in London, as well as three tours in Iraq. The Major General helped to re-define the UK’s land based anti-armour requirements, was responsible for UK policy on NATO and assisted the strategic planning for Iraq, and more recently was for re-defining the Army’s individual and collective training.
Major General Ben Bathurst CBE says, “It was a delight to be able to celebrate the inauguration of Army Section of Millfield School Combined Cadet Force (CCF), in partnership with St. Dunstan’s School, as it becomes part of the Welsh Guards family. The significant number of Cadets on parade and their enthusiasm is testament to the commitment of the Headmasters and staff who have established the CCF. Through the variety of activities on offer, the CCF will offer both challenge and enjoyment and will help the Cadets develop their leadership skills. The experience will last for their lifetime, irrespective of whether they go on to a civilian or military career.”
The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) offers young people a broad range of challenging, exciting, adventurous and educational activities in an educational partnership with the Ministry of Defence. CCF may include Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army or Royal Air Force sections, and there are CCF contingents in over 400 schools all over the UK.
Taking part in the programme offers cadets the opportunity to be promoted and go onto Cadet Command Courses and can qualify as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award physical or skill module.
Millfield's Contingent Commander Captain Craig Middleton, says, “I’m delighted that Millfield students and pupils from the local community are able to take part in such a well-known, practical programme that teaches young people valuable leadership skills that they can take with them into their adult lives. What an honour it was to welcome so many highly experienced military personnel to our school, and to introduce them to our future leaders.”
St Dunstan’s Headmaster Keith Howard says, “I am very proud of St Dunstan's ongoing collaboration with Millfield School which has led to the development of the Combined Cadet Force. The students who have got involved have already got so much out of the experience, as it gives students an opportunity to really engage in activities that develop them personally and as leaders, giving them life experiences that are valuable for the rest of their lives. Most importantly they have a great deal of fun and I look forward to seeing more of our students getting involved. This project has arisen from working together across education sectors for the good of all young people in the area, something both schools care deeply about.”