The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Anna Soubry)
On 27 May, Ofsted published its sixth report on welfare and duty of care in armed forces initial training, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. Following visits to nine armed forces initial training establishments between September 2013 and January 2014, Ofsted reports that recruits and trainees feel safe and that their welfare needs are largely being met.
All the locations assessed by Ofsted were judged as “good” or better, and two, in particular, were rated as “outstanding”. Importantly, Ofsted records that there has been continued improvement across the services and training establishments since the adult learning inspectorate published its first report in 2005, that:
“the welfare of recruits and trainees is now an intrinsic part of military training”,
“the supervision of recruits and trainees is thorough in all establishments, and particularly good care is taken of those under the age of 18.”
Ofsted has, nevertheless, made a number of recommendations for improvement in data management, sharing of best practice, site infrastructure and the selection and training of instructors.
The armed forces are determined to ensure that the initial training environment is supportive of the needs of those new to the service and the particular focus of the Ofsted inspection provides additional detail on which to reflect and review the effectiveness of our training regimes.