Former Thornhill student scoops top education award in London

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A former Thornhill student was among the winners at the inaugural British Education Awards (BEA) held in London on Monday.

Niamh McCay took home a prize at the prestigious ceremony at Grand Connaught Rooms, in Covent Garden, while fellow students Jessica O’Hare and Jayne Condron were also nominated.

The BEA honours the individual academic and extracurricular achievements in a celebration of British education.

Niamh won the A level category for Northern Ireland. She studied, Music, English Literature and Geography and got an A* in geography. She is now studing Geography and Political Science at Trinity College, Dublin.

Jessica O’Hare and Jayne Condron received runners up awards at the ceremony.

The Derry girls were among 64 finalists from across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, with only 23 winners announced on the night.

The prestigious event was supported by MPs including Shadow Secretary of State for Education Angela Rayner MP, Chair of the House of Commons Education Select Committee Neil Carmichael MP and former Secretary of State for Wales The Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP – with Eastenders’ Nitin Ganatra bringing some showbiz sparkle to proceedings.

Prizes were handed to students across the full spectrum of education in subjects ranging from engineering and technology to music and the arts, agriculture, healthcare and cookery.

Winners had also demonstrated an exemplary level of commitment to their studies, or another activity, beyond their mandatory learning requirements.

All finalists received a framed certificate on stage before the category winner was announced.