Lincoln academy teams up with new Red Arrows trust

Students from The Priory Witham Academy in Lincoln have joined forces with a new national trust in memory of Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging.

Ten pupils are working alongside personnel from RAF Scampton, RAF Coningsby and RAF Cranwell, aiming to create a new qualification devised by the Jon Egging Trust, currently named the Blue Skies project.

The qualification will allow pupils at risk of underachieving in schools bring out a range of skills such as communication, presentation, organisation, teamwork and leadership.

The project is headed by Dr Emma Egging, the widow of Flight-Lieutenant Egging, and one of his close friends and Red Arrows colleagues, Synchro Lead pilot Ben Plank.

The pair met the year 8 and 9 pupils for their first visit to RAF Scampton, where the students watched a practice session by the Red Arrows Synchro Pair, followed by a special tour.

The Trust was founded after Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging (33) died in August 2011, when his jet crashed at a display in Bournemouth.

Dr Egging said: “Before the accident, Jon had become passionate about inspiring young people to take control of their lives through sharing his love of flying and his enthusiasm for teamwork.

“The trust has been set up to realise his ambition and I am delighted to be working with young people from The Priory Witham Academy to test and develop the programme.

“We see the trust as an ‘enabler’ which creates partnerships and develops opportunities for young people who may be at risk of under-achieving in the formal education system.

“It will link them with inspirational people and environments connected to aviation. We will also aim to develop and practice life-skills such as time management, relationships, decision making and critical thinking.

“The pupils at Witham will be leading the way for the rest of the country. Over the next 18 months we plan to use military and civilian flying environments to establish an innovative and sustainable nationwide youth engagement programme.”

Assistant Headmaster at Witham Academy and a former RAF serviceman John Wiles said: “This scheme is going to bring out and bring on many of the skills which the children will need in later life.

“It is an incredible opportunity for all of them and we are enormously grateful to the Jon Egging Trust for giving us the chance to take part. I think it is going to make a real difference.”

Source: Priory Witham Academy | Photos: Stuart Wilde