Fishing 4 Schools is now offering an official qualification in angling skills to its students. Three pupils from Broomhill Bank North School, in Swanley, Kent are the first in the country to work with us towards the Ofqual regulated level one Aim Award in angling skills.

The youngsters have various learning difficulties which makes this course challenging but they are keen and Kent organiser for F4S Warren White has great hopes for them.

Over the first few weeks they have covered many subjects in the weekly sessions, from the branches of angling and equipment to fishing permits and rod licences, as well as practical skills, with Warren, David Evans, Charlie Rayner and fly coach Rob Goble.

Warren said: “While working with the students at casting practice a teacher gave me some positive feedback about one of the students on the course. The boy had told the teacher that last week’s session of learning knots and making rigs in a calm environment had helped him to relax for the afternoon at school. In his own words he called it ‘anti-trigger therapy’, which was lovely to hear.

“It is great, that hopefully at the end of this course the students will have a qualification in angling but even more importantly the course might have a role to play in the students’ wellbeing.”

Fifty-one students also achieved the Angling Trust’s Cast Awards with the Kent team in 2016.

Although not an official angling qualification, the Cast Awards are short, structured courses that encourage students to progress from starter level to level 6, learning new skills along the way.

Both the Cast and Aim Awards can be a stepping stone towards other qualifications, like the BTEC in Fisheries Management at Hadlow College, Kent.