The Numbers Game

#1
I recently assisted running a 3 star board for my County HQ and the standard was disgusting. My boss decided to pass the majority of them on the grounds they, "weren't too bad." This 'pass them it'll be alright' attitude has become a recurring theme throughout my county for all the star boards, something the cadets are increasingly becoming aware of.

This really gets my back up, 3 Star standard should mean the cadets knowledge is vast enough to attend the SCIC, lead cadets in the field/ activities, and teach junior cadets at the detachment. It also makes a mockery of everyone who passed their 3 star at a decent standard. If the 3 star knowledge isn't properly retained in a cadets mind then everything on offer from then on in their cadet career will be a waste of time.

Now, is this a question of ACF HQ's having a quota to meet in terms of APC star passes annually?

Is the ACF Officer/ AI attitude becoming too soft?

Is the standard of ACF cadet dropping? If so why?

Do other counties have similiar issues?

Your thoughts please.....

illbeamonkeysoon
 
#2
This is one oif those perennial subjects, each generation of cadets seem to have it easier than the last lot (from someone who's been around for a few of these cadet generations).

However, there is a lot of pressure from Brigade HQs to produce 'numbered' results and this can influence the less bolshie of us to give the benefit of the doubt a little too liberally.

A case in point is the last training weekend that my company held. I am the officer responsible for two star testing in my company. Unfortunately, I found that the standard of training of the cadets that were presented for testing simply didn't make the grade, therefore not many passes that weekend and I must confess that I did get a few sharp words from various quarters.
 
#3
Sea Cadet RNI (Royal Navy Inspections) mark you down if you as a unit dont promote enough Cadets. this leads to less funding.

Perhaps its similare in the ACF?

Rincewind
 
#4
This is absolutly true, the standard now is a lot slacker than from when I was a Cadet (which was'nt actually that long ago).

In all honesty though, if the detachment instructors are training their kids to a high degree, and are enforcing discipline, then there should'nt be many problems. There is only a very small percentage of Cadets that are such mongs that they cannot be taught anything, and even those generally don't cause any trouble.

So, if you are a Company level instructor, you need to grip the DC's of the underperforming detachments, as generally the underperformers tend to come from one detachment in particular.

Remember, theres no such thing as a bad cadet, only bad instructors......well, most of the time.

Regards,

Rab
 
#5
Xplosiverab said:
This is absolutly true, the standard now is a lot slacker than from when I was a Cadet (which was'nt actually that long ago).

In all honesty though, if the detachment instructors are training their kids to a high degree, and are enforcing discipline, then there should'nt be many problems. There is only a very small percentage of Cadets that are such mongs that they cannot be taught anything, and even those generally don't cause any trouble.

So, if you are a Company level instructor, you need to grip the DC's of the underperforming detachments, as generally the underperformers tend to come from one detachment in particular.

Remember, theres no such thing as a bad cadet, only bad instructors......well, most of the time.

Regards,

Rab
Whilst i agree, i dont 100%....

with falling standards in education i find a higher percentage of cadets now who cant tell left from right, do math in thier heads or remember any part of part 1 sylibus for more that 1 parade night, and thier writing skills lead much to be desired.... i have a cadet who just turned 18 and is transitioning from cadet to staff, he filled the forms in and i swear, my 7 year old daughter did it. he cant even spell his own address correctly.

The standards are appauling and unfortunately i havent the time to teach them the stuff school and parents should have done.

Rincewind
 
#6
Xplosiverab said:
So, if you are a Company level instructor, you need to grip the DC's of the underperforming detachments, as generally the underperformers tend to come from one detachment in particular.
I'm only at company level on Company Training Weekends, the rest of the time I'm a DC (I view this as by far my primary role), so I lack the authority to knock heads together. However, the reports I sent out after the weekend left my views in no doubt.
 
#7
That wasn't a dig at you mate, it was more of a blanket statement aimed at Company Training Officers who do the job every week, and are employed solely for training. Im at Company level as I deal with Sports, but as you said our detachments must come first. As it happens though, my lot are amazingly good at sports! :p

Its true though, that the standards of the kids are slipping, but all we can do is to try to help them as best we can, it may not be our responsibility, but theres no harm in trying. The best thing to do is to drum subjects into their heads time and time again, and to make it known that if they arn't good enough, they won't pass. In our County we seperate our star level groups in to county cadres on annual camps, and so letting someone pass 2* on company level only to see them bomb 3* Company on annual isn't really the way forward, in our County at least.
 
#8
Didn't take it as a dig old chap, I was simply further explaining my predicament.

Totally agree with your second paragraph though, couldn't have put it better myself!
 

HS12

Old-Salt
#9
I'm glad it's not just my county this is happening in. It appears to be a case of quantity not quality. I'm sure it's something to do with the Cadet Reporter thing that gets submitted to ACFA (correct me if I'm wrong). Passes equal money.

X our annual camp runs the same way. One of the cadre commanders asked the senior cadets which cadets should pass 2 star Fieldcraft, WTF!!!
 
#10
HS12 said:
One of the cadre commanders asked the senior cadets which cadets should pass 2 star Fieldcraft, WTF!!!
Bloody ludicrous!!!!! 8O
 
#11
HS12 said:
I'm glad it's not just my county this is happening in. It appears to be a case of quantity not quality. I'm sure it's something to do with the Cadet Reporter thing that gets submitted to ACFA (correct me if I'm wrong). Passes equal money.

X our annual camp runs the same way. One of the cadre commanders asked the senior cadets which cadets should pass 2 star Fieldcraft, WTF!!!
standardisation of ACF testing hey? Blo8ody absurd!!!!!!!! :twisted:
 
#12
HS12 said:
X our annual camp runs the same way. One of the cadre commanders asked the senior cadets which cadets should pass 2 star Fieldcraft, WTF!!!
Jesus Christ.....im assuming that said cadre commander is a total mong...............

This is ridiculous, you then get into the areas where little Johnny called little Timmy a biff, and so Big Tommy who's Timmys big brother or bestest friend says that Johnny is crap at Fieldcraft, when in reality you're dealing with Ray Mear's stunt double.
 
#13
Yep, she's a mong. She's also a Company Commander. Needless to say the senior cadets were so amazed at being asked that none of those under assesment passed.
 
#14
Xplosiverab said:
This is absolutly true, the standard now is a lot slacker than from when I was a Cadet
Standards are not falling everywhere...

As an ATC instructor, I can definitely say that the ATC syllabus is a lot HARDER than it was when I was a cadet (1982-1990). I really have to know exactly what I'm talking about these days, study the course material and certainly couldnt blag my way through in an attempt to bamboozle impressionable teenagers. (not that I've ever done that of course!!)

But the generally dismal standards of English, handwriting and use of 'txt spk' is on the increase. If it was up to me I would fail anyone for using poor handwriting, poor english or using text in their submissions. But that would mean failing practically everyone!

This year we have submitted 37 cadets for exams, and got 37 passes, several with merit or distinction. 4 of these cadets are said to have 'learning difficulties' one of whom got a merit.
 
#15
I'm referring to my experience of the ACF, i was'nt referring to the ATC as I have no experience there.

Interesting point about the learning difficulties though, as ive got a lad at my det who has learning difficulties, and he hasnt had any problems at all with taking in information, interacting with other cadets, passing star level exams etc.

Is this experience shared by other instructors on the board?
 
#16
Learning difficulties are IMHO often used as an excuse for poor behaviour or just lack of intelligence.

The majority of learning difficulties can be overcome by the instructor making some changes in his techniques to engage and stimulate the cadets more. Often if a cadet is involved stimulated and controlled at the same time they will naturally absorb the information and work round or through thier personal problems. Involved stimulated and controlled can be difficult but is often the key to succsesfully teaching these cadets.

I remember teaching a cadet with autism badges of rank, i associated each badge with something he could relate to and he learnt the ranks it sometimes requires adasptation to teach these kids but it is worth while and is ultimatly why we are here.
 
#17
Cadets are expected to pass their 1* at 12 months, 2* at 24 months, 3* at 36 months, 4* at 42 months. Those will give a good statistic for the County through the 'Octavia' system. There is pressure to meet the expected time scale...
 
#18
dwills said:
Cadets are expected to pass their 1* at 12 months, 2* at 24 months, 3* at 36 months, 4* at 42 months. Those will give a good statistic for the County through the 'Octavia' system. There is pressure to meet the expected time scale...
Surely the powers to be are expecting ACF counties to be getting cadets to achieve those standards within that time though, not just pass them willy nilly to meet targets?
 
#19
Xplosiverab said:
Interesting point about the learning difficulties though, as ive got a lad at my det who has learning difficulties, and he hasnt had any problems at all with taking in information, interacting with other cadets, passing star level exams etc.
Could this be because our syllabus is rather less academic and rather more practical and 'hands-on' than the ATC one (I have only a little knowledge about the ATC syllabus but it appears to concentrate more heavily on academic and written work).
 
#20
Xplosiverab said:
I'm referring to my experience of the ACF, i was'nt referring to the ATC as I have no experience there.

Interesting point about the learning difficulties though, as ive got a lad at my det who has learning difficulties, and he hasnt had any problems at all with taking in information, interacting with other cadets, passing star level exams etc.

Is this experience shared by other instructors on the board?
I think overall standards are not falling. Things are just different today. The cadets you train in the ACF are from the same schools and catchment areas as the ATC cadets I train. (I used to be an ACF A/Sgt, so I do know the slightly different flavour of your organisation)

In both organisations I have yet to meet a cadet who could not be 'improved ' in some, even small way. I have met many bright cadets who are deemed to have learning difficulties. I recall one young man who came to us with Dyslexia, and, consequently very low self esteem. He is now a Staff Sgt in the Infantry.

I think that quite often, 'Learning difficulties' is the cover all excuse used by the educational establishment to explain why little Timmy is not doing very well at school. It couldnt be that the school is shite, the teachers are mostly useless tubes, and Timmy knows it, so naturally treats them and the organisation they represents with disdain?

Also, until the age of 16, he has no choice in the matter. As a cadet, he is a volunteer, and can quit at any time.
 

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