Air Cadet Benjamin White (16), of Bexleyheath, Kent has recently achieved a BTEC Level 2 in Music Studies at the same time that his dad, Army Cadet Chaplain Andrew White, achieved a Graduateship of the City and Guilds Institute.


This is more significant as Benjamin has a rare syndrome meaning he has both physical and learning disabilities. He is only the second cadet with severe learning disabilities to achieve this BTEC in the country and the only student in his Special School to attain any qualification at this level.


His dad explained, “Benjamin has an amazing love of music and has worked hard at drumming and learning the skills of a Drum Major. Achieving a BTEC in Music Studies is tribute to the support that Benjamin gets from both staff and cadets at his squadron to help him participate alongside his peers as much as he is able.”


Benjamin is a member of 358 (Welling) Squadron ATC and Andrew is Chaplain to South East London ACF, as well as an Honorary Chaplain within the ATC. Dad said, “the only challenge for us now is ‘What next?’!”.


All Air Cadets have the opportunity to undertake the BTEC in Music, the BTEC in Public Service and BTEC in Aviation Studies, each the equivalent of 4 GCSE passes, meaning every cadet has the the potential to obtain 12 additional GCSE equivalents. These awards are provided via the the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) and the Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation (CVQO), Frimley at no charge to the cadet.


Flt Lt Cottier, officer commanding Welling Air Cadets said “This is a fantastic achievement for any cadet, but especially Benjamin and we would like to see it recognised accordingly. The Worshipful the Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Ray Sams has informally agreed to present Benjamin's certificate to him, and it is hoped that a number of the senior members of CVQO & the ACO who enabled him to complete it will be able to attend too ”.