Ashton student overcomes illness to score uni place

NOT EVEN serious illness could prevent one Ashton-based student from his aim of getting a university place.

Tom Astbury won a battle with leukaemia and has now earned a BTEC triple distinction star in his studies at Oldham Sixth Form College.

He will now go on to Bournemouth University, where he will commence a Paramedic Science degree course.

Tom, previously of Ashton’s St Damian’s RC Science College, combined his studies with volunteering as an emergency responder for both the British Red Cross and North West Ambulance Service.

Tom Astbury

And he is just one of a number of Tameside-based students to have achieved great qualifications over the borough border.

Oliver Cooney and Catherine O’Donnell – who also went to St Damian’s – celebrated great grades.

The former will now study Linguistics at Cambridge after getting three A*s while the latter received two A*s and an A, meaning she will study law at Bristol University.

Max Bamford, who received a PRIDE award for excellence in class and attendance during year 11 at Mossley Hollins, also succeed.

He will now go on to study Physics at Durham University after scoring two A*s and two A grades.

Max Bamford

He was especially delighted given the chaos the Covid-19 pandemic had brought to his and many others’ studies.

Max said: “It’s amazing to have done so well despite the past two years.”

Oldham Sixth Form College reported many other superb outcomes in terms of both progression to a wide range of universities and degree courses, and to other excellent options, including apprenticeships and employment, while a number of students are taking a gap year before moving on to Higher Education in 2022.

Oldham Sixth Form – Oliver Cooney (left) Kaitlin Carter (Centre) Catherine O’Donnell (right)

Both its A-level and Applied General results were very strong and an impressive number of students secured places at Russell Group universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, and on to some of the most competitive degree courses, such as Medicine, Dentistry and Law.

Associate principal Suzannah Reeves said “We are delighted with and very proud of the achievements of our students especially after the challenges that they have faced, because of Covid-19, throughout the last two academic years.

“Our fantastic staff have worked tirelessly so that all students have been taught and supported incredibly effectively ensuring that a record number of students have progressed onto university, an apprenticeship or to employment.”

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