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Air Cadets - A Parent's View

We are very pleased that your child is considering joining the Air Training Corps. Hopefully the following age should answer some frequently asked questions and to give guidance about our organisation and your child’s involvement with us. The Commanding Officer who runs the local Squadron is always available should there be any problems with your child's membership. You can be assured that they are looking to join an excellent youth organisation. Our adult staff who are all volunteers are highly trained to ensure that all activities are carried out safely and effectively. There are many activities for your child to take part in, some of which can be found on other parts of this website

The Air training Corps

Is a national organisation with Headquarters at RAF College Cranwell. The country is split into six Regions and each Region is split into Wings which have a number of Squadrons under their control. Although we are connected with the Royal Air Force they are under no liability to join the Services. Many of our cadets do go on to join not only the RAF but the Army or the Navy. Others go on to join the Police or go onto University and into many and varied careers. All will have found their training and experiences in the Air Cadets an advantage.

Parents responsibilities

You will be responsible for your child getting to and from the Squadron safely. You are also responsible for the uniform that we will issue them with. The uniform costs about 200 per cadet. However do not worry as you will not be expected to pay this as the uniform is on loan to them. It is important that it is looked after and only used for air cadet activities. Cadets will become proud of their uniform and are encouraged to keep it in good order themselves. Do not be upset if your child ask you not to iron their shirt as there are certain ways of doing it and they generally like to iron their own once trained. When they leave the cadets you are asked to make sure the uniform is returned. Boots / shoes are not generally issued and you will need to supply these. Most Squadrons will be able to advise you of where these can be obtained from and their cost.

You will also have to pay their subscriptions on time and an explanation of where the money goes and how Squadrons are funded is in the next paragraph. Subs are important and prompt payment helps everybody.


All organisations need funding. We are luckier than most. The Royal Air Force provide the money for uniforms, premises, flying and several other activities your child may take part in. However many other activities are not covered and have to be funded by the Squadrons. To do this each Squadron has a Civilian Committee, also volunteers who are responsible for raising and spending these “Non Public Funds”. Some money from each cadet also goes to fund activities at Wing level such as sport, training courses etc. You can be assured that your contributions are well cared for and spent on the cadets and their activities. Currently subs can range from £2 to £10 per week but it is up to the local Committee to set their requirements. The payment is required whether your child attends all parades in the period concerned or not. No refunds will be given if they leave in a period for which you have paid.

Secondly , most of our Squadrons are registered for Gift Aid, which means that if at least one of the parents/guardians is a tax payer by them signing a simple form and returning it to the Squadron, they can claim a further 25p in the pound of subscriptions paid directly from the Inland Revenue. This makes a great difference.

Helping the Civilian Committee / Squadron

Squadrons are always looking for new Staff at Squadrons and new members for Civilian Committees. The biggest source of these new people is the parents of cadets. If you feel you might be interested in joining the Squadron staff either as a Civilian Instructor or as a uniformed member or if you think you could spend a little time helping on the Civilian Committee please contact the Commanding Officer of the Squadron who will be pleased to talk about it to you. There is no doubt that being a part of our organisation is very worthwhile to adults and young people alike.

Other costs and hardship

The more your child is involved in the more may be the costs. General funding is by the subscriptions you already pay but camps in the UK and abroad and adventure training etc may lead to additional costs which you will be asked to pay. These will always be the minimum we can make them.

We also realise that there are cases of hardship among parents who are out of work or have large families etc. and we can address genuine hardship in several ways so that the Cadet does not miss out. Please talk to the Commanding Officer in confidence if you have a problem.