A Highfield Littleport Academy student has become the first pupil from the area special school ever to secure a GCSE.

Oliver Woods received a GCSE in Maths whilst overcoming several challenges, including a pandemic and surgery, to become the first student to complete this significant achievement.

Yvonne Skillern, Head of School for Highfield Littleport Academy, said: “We are so proud of Oliver’s monumental achievement.

“Oliver began studying Maths at Littleport & East Cambs Academy as part of his tailored timetable nearly four years ago.

"Despite his additional learning needs, a leg surgery and the disruption caused by the pandemic, he has worked extremely hard and achieved a grade 3 GCSE in Maths and was very close to a grade 4.

“All of the staff are delighted with Oliver’s success and wish him well at college.

"Oliver has realised the true vision of the academy, and we look forward to supporting other students with opportunities like these and working even more closely with LECA in the future.”

The academy, part of The Active Learning Trust (ALT), is an area special school co-located with LECA, providing education for pupils aged two to 19 with significant and complex learning difficulties.

The curriculum is different to comprehensive schools and tailored to the needs of students who all have Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), many of whom will have physical, behavioural, sensory, communication or medical needs.

Oliver is now going to Cambridgeshire Regional College - Huntingdon campus, with his first day on September 5.

He is studying a Supported Learning Entry Level course which will improve his English and Maths skills and prepare him for adulthood.

Craig D’Cunha, Acting Chief Executive Officer at The Active Learning Trust, said: “On behalf of the Trust, I would like to extend my congratulations to Oliver and the school for this excellent achievement.

“To do this under normal exam circumstances would have been a significant achievement, but to do this after the last few years of disrupted learning and changes to exams makes it extra special.

“We continue to be so impressed by all the students and team at Highfield Littleport Academy, which has created strong links with our fellow Trust schools.

"This has promoted a high-quality education provision so that all students can maximise their potential for learning irrespective of their different needs.”