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Ofsted Report (Armed Forces Initial Training)

Volume 515: debated on Wednesday 15 September 2010

Today Ofsted publishes its report on welfare and duty of care in armed forces initial training, copies of which I have placed in the Library of the House. Over the course of a year, Ofsted inspected 10 initial training establishments, meeting with recruits, trainees and staff to assess the effectiveness of the care and welfare arrangements.

Training to join the front line in the armed forces is recognised as a challenge for recruits and trainees and the staff who look after them, which is why providing a safe and supportive environment is essential if the training is to be fully effective. I am pleased that Ofsted regards most recruits and trainees as well motivated, thoughtful and confident individuals who feel safe and well supported.

Ofsted reports that where problems exist, they are not related to the quality of welfare and duty of care support, but to structure, management systems and staffing issues and it is these aspects of provision that are judged as being “inadequate” in two locations. These concerns are being addressed and followed up through the chain of command.

The impact of operations on the training environment is noted by Ofsted in the report and this, combined with the current resource climate, means that we must strive to continue our efforts to improve ensuring that the impact of change is evaluated and the effect on recruits and trainees remains positive.