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Schools join forces to find country’s future high-flyers
A NEW venture launched yesterday is aiming to find the next generation of inventors, engineers, scientists and sportsmen and women.
Flying High Together was launched by four Wallingford schools at the town hall last night to benefit their 800 children.
It was set up by four mums and the four headteachers at Cholsey Primary School, Crowmarsh Gifford Primary School, Fir Tree Junior School, and St Nicholas Infants School as a business partnership with local companies.
It is hoped to bring in £10,000 in the first year for various projects and equipment and link the schools with businesses in South Oxfordshire for school trips or classroom talks.
The charity, which is aiming to attract science, technology, food technology and engineering companies, is thought to be the first of its kind.
The idea was the brainchild of Wallingford working mums Jane Culcheth Beard and Helen Liddar – who were joined in the project by Lorna Bonthrone and Catherine Inwood.
Mother-of-two, Mrs Culcheth Beard, said: “You want the best for your children and you want them to aspire to whatever they want to do.
“We are really lucky in Wallingford – the schools are fantastic and it has a thriving business community.
“And we are right in the heart of some major science and tech nology research centres so we thought both businesses and schools were missing a trick by not working closer together.”
Her daughters Jenny, eight and Lucy, seven, go to Fir Tree Junior School in Radnor Road.
Mrs Culcheth Beard, 47, added: “We want the businesses to recruit local children down the line, and hopefully our kids.
“I’m really hoping I have a future inventor or something like that. I don’t know yet what they want to become but I want to be able to feel like I have given them every opportunity.”
Businesses including RAF Benson and Waitrose were at last night’s launch, where companies were given their first chance to sign up to the project and the partnership has already forged links ahead of its official launch.
Construction company S C M Builders in Hithercroft Road is funding ongoing professional tennis coaching at Portcullis Tennis Club for pupils at Fir Tree after school on Tuesdays.
Headteacher Nilofer Khan said: “They are getting the best coaching available without worrying about the funding.”
To get involved in the project go to flyinghightogether.org.uk