Inspiring RAF visitor returns to Kettering roots to talk to students

Air Commdore Dawn McCafferty with Southfield School students
Air Commdore Dawn McCafferty with Southfield School students

A former Southfield School student who is one of the most senior figures in the RAF returned to her roots to speak to pupils about her career.

Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty was a student at the school between 1976 and 1982 and studied her A-levels in Kettering before joining the RAF.

Her career saw her rise up the ranks and she is currently the commander of the Air Cadets organisation – a youth movement that is larger than the RAF itself.

Emily Steeples a Year 10 student and member of the Air Cadets, contacted the Commandant through Facebook to ask her if she would like to return to her old school and speak to students.

Julie Goswell, head teacher, said: “It was an honour to welcome Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty back. She recalled the fond memories that she had of her school days at Southfield School and remembered that the school had given her the skills, drive and ambition to achieve such a high level in the RAF.”

Emily Steeples who made the initial contact was equally pleased to meet her Commandant.

She said: “At first it seemed completely surreal that she was actually coming. To have such an inspirational and important female figure come from Southfield School was incredible and it’s great to have someone to look up to who was in your position 30 years ago.

“It was a great honour for all of us to be able to speak with her as it was an experience which many cadets don’t get to have. It was great to be able to hear all of her stories from her life.”