Student praised for success in face of adversity

LEEDS teenager Elinor Clapson has gained three A*s at A-level and a place at Cambridge University just months after the sudden death of her mother.
Elinor ClapsonElinor Clapson
Elinor Clapson

The 19-year-old student at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), whose mother died in March just five years after the death of Elinor’s father, admitted that she had no idea how she had performed in the exams.

She said: “I couldn’t sleep last night and I really had to steel myself to look at my results this morning.

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“When my mum died I was in the middle of doing A-level course work and then I had to prepare for the exams starting in June, so it was very difficult.

“I really can’t believe how well I have done.

“I just cried and then I phoned my grandparents and my aunts and uncles and they all cried too.”

Elinor, who has a 16-year-old sister Isabelle, also achieved an A in her extended project qualification (EPQ), which the school offers in conjunction with the universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield. It is

the equivalent of half an A-level.

Her mother was on a trip to America in March when she died of an arrhythmia and her father died five years ago of a pulmonary embolism.

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Now Elinor, whose A-levels are in English literature, French and history, is preparing to study English literature at Newnham College, Cambridge.

Head of the upper sixth at the independent school in Alwoodley, Petra Turner, said: “I am astounded at what Elinor has achieved considering what she has been through.

“She is an incredible young woman and she deserves the best.”

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