Female military recruits given ‘ill-fitting’ uniforms, report finds

Female recruits at armed forces training centres are suffering from “low morale” due to ill-fitting uniforms, an Ofsted report has found.

Inspectors found there were “significant problems” with ageing buildings and poorly-fitting clothing in several armed forces training facilities.

The report was based on 11 inspections of sites, including six Royal Air Force university service units, between October 2022 and May 2023.

Duke of Edinburgh death
Inspectors found that rot in the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, was the ‘worst they had ever seen’ (Ben Birchall/PA)

While all of them were graded good, there were still “long-standing failures” in infrastructure and resources available to recruits, the report concluded.

Inspectors found that rot in the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, was the “worst they have ever seen”.

The report said “far too many” female recruits were without suitable, properly fitting uniforms, body-armour and backpacks, adding: “This is affecting recruits’ morale and posing injury risks.”

Ofsted has previously made recommendations about poorly-fitting uniforms and said that women in one training centre looked less smart than their male peers last October.

Ofsted chief Inspector Amanda Spielman said: “Senior commanders and their teams should be proud of their inspection results that reflect the high-quality training and support they are providing to such a valuable group of people.

“However, we have yet again reported evidence of sub-standard and sometimes unsafe buildings and facilities, within which our recruits are expected to complete their training.

“I urge senior colleagues in the Ministry of Defence to take urgent action to provide our young services personnel with the facilities, infrastructure and resources they need to flourish and work safely.”