You may be looking at this page because your child is already a member of the Air Cadets, or because they are interested in joining. The ATC offers young people from all walks of life a chance to get active, learn things not taught by schools and make new friends in an inspirational and safe environment.
It doesn't interfere with their school responsibilities and cadets take an invaluable set of experiences and strong personal ethics with them when they leave that they can put to good use at university or in the career of their choosing. It's true that some cadets do take up a career within the Services, but there is no liability for them to join up after leaving the organisation. Their personal development as confident and spirited young people is our main aim.
Under the guidance of our fully qualified volunteer staff we’ll offer your son or daughter many activities to take part in and every opportunity to build their strengths and improve their confidence. We hope that they stay with us for several years and thoroughly enjoy their membership - our volunteer staff are always on hand to assist parents with any questions or concerns.
We do not ask for much from parents. Most of the kit that is required for Air Cadet activities is provided by us, including the blue uniform and flying clothing, which we provide free of charge. We do not supply footwear, so upon a uniform being issued we request that cadets wear a pair of smart, clean and polished black shoes. You are responsible for their uniform, which is issued on loan and must be returned when they leave us.
For some activities, the blue uniform is not practical to wear, so we give cadets the option to wear combat clothing with black boots. We have a very limited supply of this and most cadets purchase their own set privately. For guidance on obtaining combat clothing please contact us.
Aside from uniform, all we ask is that you bring your child to our meetings and that they are collected promptly at the conclusion.
You are encouraged to persuade them, where possible to partake fully in the activities, as the more effort that cadets put in the more reward they will receive. This includes parade evenings as well as weekend events and competitions.
The MOD and Royal Air Force subsidises much of the Air Training Corps, including buildings, uniforms, flying and many other activities. In order to maintain our building, Squadron Owned Vehicle, pay telephone & insurance bills and purchase equipment that is essential for training, we ask for a subscription payment that is currently £120 per year, payable as a one off or in installments by direct debit. It is essential that payment of this is managed promptly upon request as we are also billed by our Headquarters for your child's membership. If the payment of subs is not forthcoming your child will not be selected for certain activities until it is addressed.
If your child decides they no longer wish to attend the Squadron, we must be informed immediately. Until we are notified their subs account will remain open and they will be expected to pay subs until we discharge them for non attendance.
If your child wishes to go on camp, you will receive a notice setting out the charges (which for a UK based week long Annual Camp is around £50) in advance. Activities held overseas are more expensive but no activity offered by the ATC seeks to make profit.
The Squadron is actively engaged in fund raising, largely handled by the Civilian Welfare Committee. Our main source of income is from holding car boot sales. If you are interested in Joining our Civilian Committee click here.
Every parent's primary concern is for the safety and well-being of their son or daughter. Rest assured we take this equally seriously. Many of our activities (often outdoor) rely on our cadets being in a safe, secure and enjoyable environment in which they can sometimes be challenged physically. Our long history is a testament to our expertise and care in this area so that we can provide the thrills of adventurous training under the guidance of experienced, trustworthy staff. The staff at your local squadron are always available to speak to and will put your mind at rest regarding any concerns you may have.
For more information on your child's safety you can read the Air Cadet Organisation’s Child Protection Guide. Please click the links below for more information:
Our volunteers are the inspirational connection between the Organisation and our cadets. We train and prepare our staff (many of whom have been air cadets themselves or have a Service background) to deal with the needs of young people and encourage their skills in all endeavours they undertake. Volunteer staff at all levels are strictly vetted to determine their suitability to work with young people through the Criminal Records Bureau and receive internal security checks, before they can take sole charge or responsible leadership of cadets.
Volunteers are also fully trained and qualified in any activities that they are involved in, not least those taking part in adventurous pursuits who are also qualified first-aiders (essential first aid is also taught to cadets).
Rest assured - this is the way all squadrons operate - only with skilled, capable and responsible volunteers would we be able to maintain the high standards that our cadets experience and which helps push them to be higher achievers in everything they do with us - safely and confidently.
Being so closely associated with the Royal Air Force we have inherited a great deal of the military culture from it. We are a disciplined youth organisation, with a set structure, procedures and set of rules.
Our staff are bound not only by civil law but also by military law. When on duty with the ATC, cadets too are subject to military rules. As well as general behaviour and deportment, cadets must present themselves properly and smartly, paying particular attention to hair length.
Once you have signed a ‘Parents Consent to Entry’ form, your child will become a member of the Squadron. Their eligibility to take part in activities will then be determined by their age and status. Most of the ‘normal’ activities such as flying, gliding and camps can be experienced by a cadet who is 13 years and 6 months old.
The ATC reserves the right to dismiss a cadet from the Corps, should their discipline or behaviour fall below an acceptable level. If a cadet does not attend for a two month period (without prior notification) they may also be dismissed. In these circumstances we would ensure that the parent is informed.