Bexley students achieves successful A-level results despite tough circumstances

PUBLISHED: 10:40 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:40 21 August 2018

Piriyankan Thavaraja will soon be studying at Brunel University. Picture: Christ the King Sixth Form

Piriyankan Thavaraja will soon be studying at Brunel University. Picture: Christ the King Sixth Form


While A-level students across the country deserve congratulations for their achievement, 18-year-old Piriyankan Thavaraja is in a league of his own.

Piriyankan is one of a number of students from Christ the King Sixth Form, which has sites in Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich, who achieved top marks of D*D*D* in the elite level-3 BTEC; his subject is engineering.

But Piriyankan, 19, is estranged from his family back home in Sri Lanka and has been in care since his brother - his only relative in the UK - had to return home three years ago.

He said: “If Bexley council hadn’t been there I would have been on the streets.”

during his first year at Christ the King Sixth Form he was in accommodation in Woolwich - a long way from the campus - but is now in Sidcup.

He says he spent long hours studying on campus before going home each night.

While he was studying, he took two part-time jobs across four days a week, one in a local off-licence and another in a branch of the Co-Op, so that he could send £200 a month back to his brother in Sri Lanka.

Just seven pc of children in care progress to university. They are also five times more likely to have been excluded from school as their peers.

Piriyankan is now off to Brunel University to study civil engineering

“I like the idea of building houses,” he said.

“Civil engineering is practical and you can see the results of what you do.”

Christ the King Collegiate Principal Rob McAuliffe says he’s delighted by Piriyankan’s achievement: “Piriyankan is one of a number of our students who have overcome enormous obstacles to achieve academic success.

“He’s an extremely talented and modest young man and we are confident he will go on to a successful and fulfilling career after university. We’re extremely proud of him.”

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