CVQO Regional Manager East spotted at ATC 75th Birthday Celebrations!

Gil Singleton our Regional Manager East attended the celebrations last Sunday in London to mark the 75th Birthday of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets in his capacity of Principal Director of Music. 

Wing Commander Gil Singleton was leading the Air Cadet Organisation National Brass Ensemble as they played to welcome the Duchess of Cambridge. Most of the band members have or are studying for the CVQO led BTEC in Music for Practical Performance. 

The assembly then moved to the VIP Reception at the Royal Courts of Justice where Gil met Air Cadet Ambassador Carol Vorderman. 

Congratulations to the ATC on their 75th Birthday from all at CVQO. 

Podcast transcript - Edward Woods discusses changes to the ILA system

In June this year the Scottish Government announced without warning that CVQO learners would no longer be eligible to claim funding from the Scottish Individual Learning Account. 

Since 2009 CVQO learners needed to draw funds from the Scottish ILA for the Level 2 BTEC qualifications, which are not funded by the grant that CVQO receives from the education-funding agency, which applies to learners in England only. 

Chief Executive Edward Woods is with me.

Edward, I imagine this has been quite a tiresome problem for you at CVQO. 

Edward Woods, CVQO CEO:
We were originally told in April 2009 by The Learning Skills Council, that we could not fund learners outside England. It then took two years to develop the funding stream in Scotland so that every cadet throughout the UK had equal opportunities and that certain cadets were not disadvantaged. We eventually got the go ahead in April 2010. 

Of course, the programme does take some time to evolve and until we knew where we were, we could not do any marketing. We could not tell the instructors what was happening and we could not tell the cadets. 

This year, the programme has been evolving quite nicely and then suddenly, it has just been cut off. This affects potential new learners and the people already in the system. 

How many cadets will this have an impact on?

Edward Woods, CVQO CEO:
Up to 2009, we had over 600 cadets enrolled from Scotland. That dropped dramatically, as you can probably imagine and last year we only had 18. 

This year, we have had 125 involved. However, now these can only finish Part 1 of the programme with existing funding and we are having to look for money to allow them to complete the education requirement. 

How much would each of those cadets pay for the Level 2 BTEC qualification?

Edward Woods, CVQO CEO:
The whole qualification costs £350. In Scotland it is divided into two parts, so Part 1 costs £175 and then to complete is another £175. If you went to a normal college the qualification would be about £2,500. 

Presumably CVQO have been developing a relationship with cadetting in Scotland over a long period of time?

Edward Woods, CVQO CEO:
Since we started, but to begin with it took some time because of the Scottish education system. It took a longer time to get the Scottish cadets involved because BTECs and Edexcel aren’t fully recognised in Scotland. 

I know that you’ve been trying to get meetings organised with representatives of the Scottish Government. Have you made any progress? Are you still attempting to set up meetings to try to resolve this problem?

Edward Woods, CVQO CEO:
We have written to the Education Minister and had a response. We are now waiting for further advice on where we might get the funding. 

Until the Minister responds, I cannot say what action we can take at this moment. However, what we are now doing in the short term is going to charities to ask if they can help donate money to cover this shortfall. 

We can only hope that you get some decisions and some answers from the Scottish Government. In the meantime hopefully you will resolve this problem and can continue to support cadets in Scotland, because they are obviously a major part of cadetting and CVQO’s commitment to cadets in the UK. 

Edward Woods, CVQO CEO:
To me, it’s horrendous that we have national organisations, not just MOD cadets, but St John Ambulance cadets, Police cadets, the Fire Service and the Scouts that cannot take part in this, yet people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can. 

This week we’ve celebrated the Duke of Westminster Award and Lloyd Glanville took the major prize for being the top cadet in the UK. Amongst the guests were Patrons who support CVQO as an organisation. I know that one of the Patrons is helping to try and resolve this problem. 

Edward Woods, CVQO CEO:
Yes, Hew Balfour, a businessman who has just recently retired is trying to help. He was in the Army with me in the Scots Guards. 

Firstly, he’s going to speak to a number of charities on our behalf, but most importantly he has many contacts in the piping world. We have quite a lot of young pipers in Scotland who want to be part of our programme. 

Hew Balfour is approaching the National Piping Organisation through the Edinburgh Tattoo to see if we can access a small amount of money to help a number of students get their BTEC Music through the Piping Qualification. 

Honour for Duke of Westminster Air Cadet

An Air Cadet from 104 (City of Cambridge) Squadron has been formally appointed as the Lord Lieutenants Cadet for Cambridgeshire.  Cadet Warrant Officer Jess Bradshaw received the honour from former Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Gordon Moulds during the recent Wing Parade held at RAF Wyton.

The role of Lord-Lieutenant involves presiding at various civic and social events and presenting medals and awards on behalf of The Queen.  As Lord Lieutenants Cadet, Cadet Warrant Officer Bradshaw will attend various functions to assist the Lord Lieutenant as he executes his duty and has already greeted Her Majesty The Queen on her arrival at Burghley House as part of her diamond jubilee tour.

Since joining the Air Cadets Cadet Warrant Officer Bradshaw has gained all three levels of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, BTEC awards, first aid qualifications, completed the Nijmegan military marches, gained a communicators badge and completed a gliding scholarship plus much more.  Most recently she discovered she had been nominated for the Cambridgeshire Constabulary Young People of the Year awards known as the YOPEYs and is a finalist in the Duke of Westminster award.  With this she is currently  in South Africa for three weeks in July. 

Cadet Warrant Officer Jess Bradshaw said

“To be selected from all the cadets across Cambridgeshire for this prestigious honour is really exciting and one of the highlights of my cadet career.  Representing the Corps, my Squadron and I in this way is a reason to be very proud”

Flight Lieutenant Richard Slack added

“What Jess has achieved is truly remarkable and serves as good motivation to the younger cadets of what they can achieve if they are motivated and driven.”

Educational charity CVQO helps prepare young people for higher education and employment through its accredited vocational qualification programme.

Visit us at stand 49 at the Kent & Medway B2B 2012 conference and exhibition on 3 July 2012 at the Ashford International Hotel 9.00 am – 5.00 pm to find out about our work in Kent.

Now in its 26th year this most established business to business exhibition attracts a major gathering of business people from Kent and beyond.

Organised by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce this conference provides a day packed full of opportunities to reach new businesses and key decision makers.

For information please contact fundraising


CVQO Online Users can now track workbooks through the CVQO system

If you are a CVQO Online User, you can now track workbooks through our system. From receipt of the workbook, right through to the feedback stage.

Just log in to CVQO Online, and the photos above illustrate the process. Click on the highlighted reference in the summary column, and then see the figure in brackets in the WB1 or WB2 columns. The code is above the table.

If you are having any issues with this, then please contact

A warm welcome to Yolanda Peck, Head of Employer Solutions (Public Sector) at City & Guilds Kineo

This is Yolanda’s first visit to CVQO in Frimley to tell us about the exciting new qualifications that City & Guilds can offer!

(photo left to right: David Harris, Curriculum Manager C&G and Regional Manager West, Guy Horridge, CVQO Chief Executive, Yolanda Peck, City & Guilds and Martin Passmore, Head of Curriculum)

How far would you go to complete your BTEC?

Just before Christmas last year 1 Highlanders Battalion ACF held a BTEC training day in Dingwall. 

Holly Guilmartin who lives on the Western Isle had just aged out of the ACF and waiting to start her training to become a doctor. 

She was so keen to add a BTEC to her CV that she requested a place on the weekend.

No longer a cadet, she had to make all her own arrangements to attend this training, and fund it herself. This involved:

  • Take the weekend off work (from a local hotel).
  • Friday – Bus from home to Stornoway (40mins)
  • Friday – Ferry Stornoway to Ullapool (2hrs 40mins)
  • Friday – Bus Ullapool to Inverness (1hr 40mins)
  • Friday – Bus Inverness to road junction B9169 (40mins)
  • Friday – Walk B9169 to hotel at Easter Kinkell (2 miles in the dark and on a very wet night)
  • Friday 2 x nights at hotel
  • Saturday – Taxi Easter Kinkell to Dingwall Weekend Training Centre (6 miles)

And obviously the same in reverse…

We are very impressed at how much value Holly gave our qualification and the efforts that she had to go to gain it. 

This is definitely the longest journey with the most effort we’ve heard of to attend a BTEC weekend - unless of course you know different…?

Congratulations to Kerry Barker - CVQO Regional Manager West

Many congratulations to Kerry from us all at CVQO on being awarded the first bar to her cadet force medal. 

Kerry joined the ACF in 1997 and received her cadet force medal in 2009 after completing 12 years with the ACF. 

Kerry has been with CVQO since 2013 when she joined us as an instructor on our Schools Partnership Project and has since become a Regional Manager. 


CVQO Schools Partnership Project on the Towpath

In partnership with the Canal and River Trust, students from four local schools are volunteering to improve a section of the canal in Knowle. 

Each school will spend a day on site helping with clearance and redevelopment of the towpath and this activity will help to fulfill part of the volunteering requirement of their CVQO-led BTEC Level 1 in Teamwork, Personal Skills and Citizenship. 

The schools taking part are:

Click here for more information on the Canal and River Trust 

CVQO Schools Project Instructor digging for history!

Matt Starmer, CVQO Schools Partnership Project Instructor in Cumbria fills in his spare time as a member of the Defence Archaeology Group, working alongside Army veterans and Historic England in an initiative called Operation Nightingale, designed to help injured soldiers with their rehabilitation.

Read more about this on Page 37 of the latest Army Reserve Quarterly

CVQO-led qualification presented to Chief Instructor of CTC, Frimley

CVQO were delighted today to present Major Rupert Follett, the Chief Instructor of the Cadet Training Centre in Frimley, with his PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) qualification during a meeting of the charity’s trustees.

Chairman of Trustees, Admiral the Right Honourable Lord Alan West of Spithead and Chief Executive Edward Woods presented Major Follett with his certificate at CVQO’s head office. Major Follett is the first serving member of the regular army to achieve this qualification with CVQO, with an increasing number of air, army and sea cadet instructors enrolling on pilot schemes across the UK.

Developments are currently taking place for CVQO to offer PTLLS courses to all cadet force instructors. Information on enrolment will be available on the website.

Transcript of Interview with Bryn Price – Director of Kent Peoples Trust June 2012


At the Kent Police Training College, to see 50 young cadets parading and being presented with their CVQO-led Level 1 BTEC Certificates.


These courses cost money, and the Kent Peoples Trust have been responsible for funding all 50 cadets this evening.  Tell us a bit about the Kent Peoples Trust first of all. 

Bryn Price

“The Kent Peoples Trust is the Crime Reduction Community Safety Charity for Kent and we’ve been going for eleven years now. We put money into projects that we know will help improve safety and community cohesion in Kent. 

When we were approached by CVQO with the idea of working with them to get some young people recognised qualification, to help them realise that they can actually achieve something, we jumped at the chance. We believe that the money we have put into this programme has been really well spent. 

CVQO have got a really clear definition of what is going to happen on the programme which is well managed, and because of that, we now have 50 young people who have got something that they can constructively be proud of, and it is going to set them up, hopefully for careers in the future. That makes it worthwhile”.


Likewise, Kent Police and Local Authorities have been very keen to try to discourage, or at least to try to overcome some of the local social problems there are in the area. 

Bryn Price:

“Absolutely, which is why these programmes are actually targeted at areas where there hasn’t been a huge amount of investment. With this small investment, we are making a difference to 50 young people’s lives. Local government and especially the Chief Constable of Kent Police who I deal with regularly are overjoyed that we are all working together in partnership to get these young people something that they can actually put as an achievement for themselves. 

Money is tight nowadays, local government and the Police have to see results and when they work with us they know that these people are going to achieve results. That’s why CVQO are a preferred organisation for us to work with. We are going to work with them again. Just this week we have secured funding for the next tranche, for next year for the cadet programme. This is wonderful news and we have had great help from one of the local big insurance companies, the Civil Service Insurance Society. They are going to work with us so we will have funding for the next year for another group of cadet programmes. It’s absolutely great!" 


As you say, with money being tight, you have to work harder, like any charity to raise funds, but presumably like any charity, if you have a worthwhile cause behind what you are trying to achieve, a worthwhile project in mind, a worthwhile projection of the things you want to achieve, clearly people are going to support that. 

Bryn Price:

"Absolutely, that’s the secret. Any charity has to get support and money from the outside world to keep it going. To be able to do that, I have to be able to tell the people supporting the trust that this is going to make a difference. That’s why we like programmes like this, it makes it very easy for me to tell people, our supporters, that if they invest money with the charity it’s going to be well spent, and it’s going to achieve results. And, it’s done for the people of Kent. We don’t operate anywhere else, it makes a difference locally and that’s why we are able to keep the funding streams going”.


I’m sure you could do with any amount of help from anyone out there who is interested, if they want to find out more about The Kent Peoples Trust and how they can help and get involved, how do they do it?

Bryn Price:

Very easily, The Kent Peoples Trust has a website with all the details,

and people are very welcome to ring me, Bryn Price, the Director. I’m available and I will talk to anybody who wants to come and work with us to make Kent a safer place.

“Our BTEC registration forms might be a little late!”

We’ve just heard from 2458 Shipley & Baildon Squadron ATC regarding their registration forms and believe that York Sea Cadets are in the same situation. So sorry to hear about this. If there is anything we can do to help then please contact us. 

If you have a similar problem then please get in touch with your CVQO Regional or Area Manager to see if we can help you.