October 10th 2013

Joining forces in Heanor and Repton

Two Heanor and Repton based schools have joined forces to set up a new school based Cadet unit that will accommodate up to 36 pupils.


Heanor Gate Science College in Heanor and Repton School in Repton have joined forces to set up a Combined Cadet Force (RAF) unit for Heanor Gate students in school years nine and 10, as part of the government’s schools cadet expansion programme.
In June last year the Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced a desire to increase the number of cadet units in state schools. The aim is by 2015 to have an additional 100 cadet units in state-funded schools across England.
Cadet forces offer a broad range of activities and training opportunities for young people aged between 12 and 18 years, and are one of the largest youth organisations in the UK.
Miriam Watson is a teacher at Heanor Gate School and has been helping to set up the new unit. She said: “We decided we wanted to set up a new cadet unit for our students to support their academic learning with other sports, adventure and team based activities. Students involved will have the opportunity to develop their teamwork, resilience and leadership skills as well as developing their self-confidence and possibly make some new friends.
“Cadet activities will include studying the principles of flight, prior to undertaking air experience flights in gliders and motorized aircraft. A number of teachers and other adult volunteers will be running the unit on a week to week basis although the Headmaster will have overall control of how the unit operates. We are all looking forward to getting started and developing our unit over forthcoming months.”

Schools that have set up cadet units in other parts of the country have seen significant benefits for their young people, their schools and the local community.

Group Captain Nick Sharpe, Chief Executive at East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, said: “The Prime Minister’s initiative to increase the number of cadet units in the nation’s schools clearly recognises the benefits that being a member of the cadet forces brings, not just to the individual, but to their school and their community.  The range of activities that membership of the cadets brings is simply not available elsewhere and builds the confidence and capability of all those who participate.
“The RFCA is extremely grateful to those schools who have taken up the challenge of establishing a cadet unit and looks forward to working with them to ensure that students gain as much as possible from their membership.”
The first parade evening took place at Heanor Gate School on 12 September 2013.