A NEW scheme announced by the Prime Minister will help state school students take rank in cadet units.

Thousands of school pupils will get the chance to be part of new cadet units thanks to the £1m bursary scheme announced by David Cameron last Thursday.

The scheme will directly help state schools with the running cost of a Combined Cadet Force – mixed cadet units based in a school – using money raised from banks following the LIBOR scandal.

One Sussex school set to benefit is Longhill High, in Brighton, and its headteacher Haydn Stride said: "Longhill School Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is one of our most popular and well attended extra-curricular activities. “Being a cadet in the CCF often gives many of our pupils the opportunity to take part in activities and learn life skills they would not get in the normal school environment. “The CCF has a real influence on all those who attend and positively impacts the wider school and community.

“It is wonderful that our cadets have been given the chance to join others from state schools around the country to put forward, in their own words, what they themselves have gained from being a member of the CCF.”

Oscar Carter, 13, said: “I like the exercises where we have been learning new skills and I particularly like rifle training. “We can get certificates for things like sailing which we are doing at the moment. “I like the fact I have got to know my mates a lot better since I have joined. “Camps were hard work and challenging and I feel I’ve achieved loads.”

Megan Darbyshire, 14, said: “I like CCF because it helps you understand leadership and improves skills that you would not normally learn in school. “I joined because I had friends who were doing it and had told me how much they enjoyed it and I thought it would be good to learn some new stuff. “I am now more confident in making decisions and have a better understanding about leading. “I particularly like learning about survival skills and first aid. In the CCF we are given more opportunities to take on greater responsibilities than in any other part of school. “We are given the chance to lead and take control and are trusted to get on with it.”