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Schools team up to establish joint combined cadet force

UTC Reading is delighted to have formally signed a joint agreement with our friends and neighbours Maiden Erlegh School in Reading to establish a joint combined cadet force (CCF).

Headteachers of both schools, Andy Johnson and our own Jonathan Nicholls, signed the agreement for the schools to work together on September 15 in this fantastic scheme which supports student personal development.

The CCF is an organisation supported by the Ministry of Defence to give young adults experiences they would not be able to get anywhere else. Cadets can choose to join Navy, Royal Marine, Army and Royal Air Force sections, where students practise teamwork, leadership, adventure training, flying, gliding, shooting and much more. 

Neil Pouney, Vice Principal at UTC Reading was instrumental in bringing the CCF to UTC Reading, having previously worked in the RAF as an aircraft engineer for 23 years. He said: “We strongly believe CCF is an excellent opportunity for young adults to gain experience and confidence, developing them into better adults. 

“It is for this reason, when we were approached by Reserve forces to see if we could allow Maiden Erleigh School in Reading (MER) join with us, we saw this as an ideal community collaboration project to bring together students from the local area, where they may not have had the chance to work together so closely. 

“The new collaboration between the schools has seen a rapid expansion of the contingent to over 100 cadets. This will open up new opportunities for all going forward and we look forward to working together with MER over the coming years to develop our young adults.”

The combined cadets can expect to enjoy some truly remarkable experiences – such as flying and adventure training. One of our cadets, CWO Elise Hammond, has just recently completed the Air Cadet Pilot Training scheme, and this summer spent two weeks in Aberdeen, where she had 12 hours flying to achieve her Blue Wings. 

Another cadet, Sgt Logan Hierro, spent 10 days in Cyprus adventure training.  He not only got to spend time at the RAF base there seeing Royal Air Force life, but also did go karting, scuba diving and water skiing. 

Cadets are regularly taken sailing and there’s indoor skydiving booked in the coming weeks.

The cadet programme is completed within the school timetable as an enrichment activity, and takes place for one hour each Wednesday and Thursday during term time.

Find out more about the CCF at

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  • University of Reading
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  • Peter Brett