The first Abbey College students to be awarded scholarships to learn how to pilot a glider have taken to the sky.

Student Katie Barkans tries out the glider with Peter Valentine (Vice-chairman of NVGC), left,  Michael Muir (Chairman of NVGC), back middle and Abbey College students.Student Katie Barkans tries out the glider with Peter Valentine (Vice-chairman of NVGC), left, Michael Muir (Chairman of NVGC), back middle and Abbey College students.

The Ramsey school has partnered with the Nene Valley Giding Club, based at RAF Upwood, to offer 12 students the chance to gain pilot qualifications including the British Gliding Association B Certificate which permits them to fly solo after gaining funding from Sport England.

As well as the pilot training, engineering and IT students will be involved in completing a flight simulator started by the club. The engineering students have also been given a brief to design a new winch.

The first six students are Lewis Smith (15), Bethany Game (16), Katie Barkans (17), Oliver Wilson (16), Chris Barrott (14) and Henry Webb (15).

The club’s vice chairman Peter Valentine said: “This is the first of its kind in the country.

“We will be teaching them how to fly and also to drive the vehicles, as that is important to us, as well as learning about safety certification, and really to get them to be part of the club.”