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Thomas Deacon Academy is one of the few state schools to have a Combined Cadet Force, a Ministry of Defence sponsored youth organisation which provides opportunities for young people to develop leadership, responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness and endurance. Our values are centred around Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence.

Former Prime Minister, David Cameron, said:

“Cadet Forces teach our young people vital skills such as teamwork and discipline. They provide them with huge opportunities, open up new horizons and new possibilities. That’s why I want to see more of these in our schools so that we can give young people, no matter what their background, the skills to succeed.”

The Thomas Deacon Academy CCF has two sections - an Army Section and an RAF section – both of which offer opportunities to develop an individual’s skills through activities not readily available under the Academy’s extensive enrichment programme, such as:

  • Map reading and Navigation

  • Field and Camp Craft

  • Skill at Arms and Shooting

  • First Aid

  • Air Experience Flying

In addition to the Combined Cadet Force, Thomas Deacon Academy is also the venue for the Peterborough Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) which forms part of the The National VPC, an agreed, overarching framework under which police forces across the UK operate Volunteer Police Cadet schemes. The opportunities available in all three cadet sections will enhance the learning, aspirations and experience of our students.

Cadet activities can support and enhance a student’s involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme through the service, skills and physical sections of the Awards. Participation can lead to nationally recognised qualifications such as the BTEC Diploma in Public Services and the Institute of Leadership and Management Level 2 Award in Leadership and Team Skills (CVQO), both of which instil valuable skills for the cadets to take on to University and their future careers.


Flying scholarships are available through the RAF Section with the aim of each cadet achieving a solo flight by the end of their course.  Specialist training follows the same structure as that for the National Private Pilots Licence (NPPL).

Cadets from all Sections will get the opportunity to attend camps at training centres and working RAF bases around the UK, with the RAF offering specialist Leadership courses and overseas camps to Gibraltar, Germany and Cyprus in 2017. These will test the skills and knowledge the cadets have learnt throughout the year as they compete with cadets from other schools around the country.

WHAT HAVE I GAINED THROUGH MY TIME WITH CADETS? A word from our Cadets:..........

“By doing cadets I’m now starting my training in January as a regular soldier in the Parachute Regiment” – L/Cpl Matthew Baldwin

“Cadets has set me up to join up after 6th Form and has given me life skills for the future” – L/Cpl Jake Reed

“I have gained qualifications that I wouldn’t have normally, these have made me a more rounded person and have given me experiences I would not have got otherwise which has prepared me for management roles and a future in leadership. Flying Scholarships help with hours towards a pilots’ license, which is something that very few young people have.” – Cpl Harry

“Cadets has not only improved my confidence but it has made me an effective leader.” – Cpl Alex Smith

See our Combined Cadet Force in Action!

The following video was created by one of our talented ex-Sixth Formers, Theodor King, who is now studying for a B.A in Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University.

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Level 3 CVQO Leadership and Team Skills

Former student, William Wren, successfully completed the Level 3 CVQO Leadership and Team Skills qualification in 2016. Billy attended a week long residential where he completed a range of practical and theory tasks to demonstrate his competence in leading a team. With aspirations to be a RAF Weapons Systems Operator, Billy is confident that the experience and knowledge gained in completing this qualification will support his career aspirations.

Drill and Ceremonial Camp, RAF Cranwell

RAF cadets attended the drill and ceremonial camp ay Cranwell to hone their drill and instruction skills. All cadets had to learn weapons drill as performed by Queen’s Colour Squadron to participate in the final parade in front of a vast array of high ranking RAF dignitaries to celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the RAF Air Cadets.