Knox Academy Cadets Update

At last week’s Parent School Partnership meeting the Provost, Sheena Richardson, read out the following statement:

A Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Contingent is an educational partnership between a school and the Ministry of Defence.  For such a partnership to function to proper effect, the senior management team of the School must be closely and enthusiastically involved in the governance of the Contingent (or indeed the governance of any partnership with another Contingent).  These moral preconditions do not describe the situation with the Knox Academy CCF Contingent and therefore, the MoD must, with huge regret, endorse the Head’s decision to close the CCF.

However, the offer to form a closed detachment of Army Cadet Force (ACF) remains – a detachment based upon a school and whose membership is limited to pupils at the school.  This would be subject to further discussion and agreement by:

  • the school (brokered by the Provost and the Parents’ Group),
  • the existing Contingent Commander to take on the role of ACF Detachment Commander, and others including parents joining the ACF to assist in the running of the Detachment
  • The local ACF Battalion

Regrettably, a failure to deliver on any one of these agreements could mean that the only alternative is for Knox pupils to join one of the local ACF detachments, as individual cadets.  This is a relatively simple process, and a number of cadets have already transferred across as a matter of routine.

An agreement has been reached between the Provost and the MoD that the Haddington community dimension of this offer would need to be confirmed by 11 June 2010.

10 thoughts on “Knox Academy Cadets Update”

  1. although i can see that this is obviously the last resort due to a lack of co-operation from the school, but i think personally there is no point in opening a detachment of acf in haddington, there are many other contingents through out east lothian and those Knox pupils in the cadets from further out like gifford arent going to want to have to travel back and forwards in the evening to haddington. i fully understand that forming an acf detachment in haddington is a way of trying to keep the members of KA CCF still involved with the cadets but the acf is a completly different atmosphere, as a former member of the KA CCF i am saddened to hear that is has had to come to this because it was a great asset to the school and was something to be really proud of. it is a group that will never be forgotten and will always live on in the school through the current pupils and teachers that have been apart of it for 101 years.

  2. As the Head Female Cadet of the knox academy CCf Contingent this news is deply disturbing. It is nt long since we were assured that ‘all was well’ and we were back in the motions of re-opening and stabalising our position as a CCF. I believe that the offering of the ACF Contingent is one which is unacceptable and i believe that very few of our current cadets would want to work in an ACf environment. I believe that it is a complete and utter disregard for the history of our contingent, and a misunderstanding of the CCf which has lead to this decision.
    I regret that so many children are being let down and that a wealth of career and life opportunities are being snatched away from not only us. the current contingent, but the future members, which will no longer be.
    This is a travesty and one which i believe had been made upon biased opinion. the fact that a 100 year old contingent is going to be shut down under such circumstances is disgusting.

  3. I think this is an absolute disgrace. 100 years of tradition just cast aside as if it stood for nothing. I feel really sorry for the current cadets and those that may have joined in the future as they are being deprived of the opportunity to be apart of something extraordinary. An ACF is no substitution for the CCF.
    I spent an amazing 6 years with the Knox CCF and I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t had that opportunity. It is a very sad day indeed and an absolute travesty that it has come to this!

  4. I am absolutely disgusted by this. I cannot believe over 100 years of fantastic, educational, uplifting tradition has been ended because of the absense of Moral Preconditions within Senior Management.

    All I can say is that “senior management” must have little or no morals in order to dispose of something that gives so many people so much happiness and valuable skills.

  5. I myself do not attend Cadets but many of my school peers do and get so much out of it. I am proud to attend a school with a very sucessful CCF.
    I’m not really understanding the switchover to ACF but from what I can read it is not what people want, if teenagers do not want to do something they wont, its as simple as that. And that therefore incourages teenagers to go to the streets doing bad things. Haddington doesn’t offer very much to teenagers but having something like the CCF does.

  6. the ACF and CCF are two completely seperate entities, the fact that the two groups exist as individuals proves this. the ACF tends to create (should its members consider a areer in the army) soldiers, while the CCF in the same way would create officers. the offer to create an ACF for the school is the MOD’s acceptance that the school will not accept a CCF ran by its staff and supported by its senior managment. this is a massive loss

    there are many things that can be said regardless of your political or moral believes about the army and indeed the officers that it could potentially recruit from solid schools. this is ultimatly an organistation that develops teenagers belief in self, confidence, ability to work under pressure and problem solving skills to name but a few. such skills that could potentially make them stand out from the crowd. no other major independant school in scotland seriously considers axing their CCF contingent because not only do they realise that the CCF provides all of the previously mentioned skills and abilities but because they understand that in todays competitive job and university market such oppertunities set their cadets ahead of everyone elses.

    have a moral opinion about the armed forces and the MOD, exercise that opinion with your vote. do not stop others exercising their right by blocking the existence of a fine tradition and organisation. you may not accept the armed forces as a legitimate or acceptable association for young teenagers to be involved with. but would u rather have them involved with that or roaming around bored, leading in some cases to anti social behaviour.

    sometimes its best to accept error than push a bad decision and destroy something great

  7. Having being a very successful past cadet of Knox Academy it tears me up inside knowing that something like this can even allow to happen. Knox as a school didn’t give me a great deal of support or enjoyment, Knox CCF has allowed me to learn life skills that don’t come in the form of a classroom lesson. Now living happily in Australia and reaping the benefits theses stupendous skills have taught me for the past four years, it is clearly evident that the abolishment of this once thought prestigious organisation within an extraordinary school is no little than blasphemy itself.

    Knox was once a unrivalled great school with all the benefits of a private school, now with the lack of support from within the senior management, Knox Academy will inevitably succumb no more than a common public school which will be an absolute disgust to the community. For this reason alone, I would send my children to a private so they too can learn how valuable a CCF can be.

    An ACF is no substitute for 100 years of tradition.

  8. Shame. Shame. Shame.

    There is nothing good about this decision. It is a bad decision. In a time when we will all be subject to cuts this was an asset to the school and the community that cost nothing and gave opportunity to many.

    I wonder if the decision maker was at the parade in the town at the weekend. I wonder if they noted the distinct lack of the Knox Academy CCF contingent, others did.

    How can anyone condone something with such adverse affects on the children in our community? It’s monstrous.

    It is concerning that such an important decision can be made without the support of the pupils, parents or the community.

    I only hope that other important decisions within the school are not made with the same lack of regard for the wishes of the teachers, pupils, parents and the community of Haddington.

    I don’t think this will be forgotten or forgiven.

    Deeply upsetting.

  9. Losing KA CCF will be a significant loss to the young people at the school. The Cadet Forces provide young people with leadership and teamwork skills, confidence, friendship and a sense of adventure. The tradition will be lost and it’s particularly sad that young people at KA will no longer be able to access this extra curricular activity, which is so valuable to all round personal development.

    I sincerely hope that existing cadets can and do transfer elsewhere, although I fear that students who would have joined the CCF might choose not to bother as it’s no longer attached to the school.

    All credit must go to the parents and other activists who have tried very hard to negotiate a way forward.

    Regards,
    Jim Hume MSP

  10. 30 June 2010 will be remembered for the wrong reason……

    The day has finally arrived Knox Academy no longer has a Cadet Force!!

    Knox Academy Combined Cadet Force marches into history as from today, a sad
    day indeed for all concerned generations of Knox Academy pupils will not have
    access to the benefits and opportunities a CCF can provide..

    There is a lot people that need to take a long hard look at themselves and the part
    they played in allowing this to happen, I think for me the real worrying thing during
    my time with the CCF which extends back to 1994 not one single person from the
    Children Services Dept, Education Dept, School management team or head teacher
    has been bothered to visit the CCF to find out what the children get from being a
    member of the CCF. The CCF is a unique organisation and give its membership so
    many fantastic opportunities.

    Knox Academy has become just another ordinary school in East Lothian and will no longer
    be mentioned in the same sentence or be on the same distribution list as the like of Dollar
    George Heriots, Fettes and Loretto and most of the other fee paying schools in the UK not
    just Scotland who seem to think the CCF is beneficial to their pupils education maybe East
    Lothian Council know better. Or was it just the easy option to sit back!!!!

    Riki

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