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Kent student heading to the US for a bright future

Lily Prendergast competed with 1200 other students to win a place at Smith College, Massachusetts Credit: Shellina Prendergast

A 17 year old student from Headcorn has won a coveted place to study at an American university after competing with 1200 other UK youngsters.

Lily Prendergast is one of 150 who'll be attending Smith College, Massachusetts after participating on the Sutton Trust's US Programme, run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission. Thanks to the trust, she'll also get a financial aid package to see her through college.

The aim of the programme is to encourage academically talented, low and middle income British students to consider studying at American universities. Lily will go to the States when she finishes her International Baccalaureate at Tonbridge Grammar School.

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Celebrations for Kent students

This year's Year 11 students at Tonbridge Grammar School are celebrating after receiving their GCSE results.

The proportion of grades at A* were at a record high of 47 per cent. The percentage of students with all results at A or A* was 81 per cent.

I am very pleased that our talented students have produced an excellent set of results this year, not only at GCSE but also in the challenging iGCSE and AS level courses. Our students have performed fantastically and continue to support the wider community in sport, music and voluntary service. These results are a testimony to the commitment and creativity of the students, their teachers and support staff.”

– Rosemary Joyce, Headteacher

The school said it was delighted by some fantastic individual performances, congratulating Emilie Dommett from Tonbridge (12 A* grades and two grade A at AS), Eleanor Scopes from Edenbridge (12 A* grades and one grade A at AS) and Katherine Head from Marden (12 A* grades and two grade A at AS).

Testing times for A-levels: Kent school scraps them

Are A-levels failing to make the grade? One school in Kent thinks so. In September, Tonbridge Grammar becomes one of the first state schools in Britain to scrap A-levels and replace them with a new qualification.

It believes the International Baccaleureate is more challenging and prepares students better for university. The government is currently looking at major reform of the A level system amid criticism that too many top grades are handed out and endless resits devalue the qualification.

Our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

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