Do you have "Allow modifying Find My Friends settings (supervised only)" unchecked in a config profile for the iPads? We found that if modifying Find My Friends is restricted it also disables the location services toggle. I reported it to support.
Support says it looks like it's an Apple issues as the same happens when the restriction is pushed out using configurator.
I know this is an old thread, but it's the most relevant one I could find on this topic.
Using one of my DEP-enrolled iPads, I've noticed that even if I leave "Allow modifying Find My Friends settings (supervised only)" unchecked, users can still go into Privacy -> Location Services and turn Location Services on. But, once they do that, they cannot turn it off again. They can, however, still change the location services settings for apps individually (using the "Never" and "While Using the App" options).
I need to figure out how to turn location services on without the user being able to modify those settings or being prompted to enable location services, if possible. (JSS 9.82/iOS 9.2.1).
This 'issue' is still present. It appears Find Friends.app governs the Share Location settings of the device. Workflow:
1. Devices Config Profile > Restrictions > iOS > Functionality > Allow modifying Find My Friends settings = Enabled
2. Devices Config Profile > Restrictions > iOS & TV > Applications > Do Not Allow: Find Friends (com.apple.mobileme.fmf1)
This workflow will allow the device to share its location while preventing usage of the Friend Friends.app