South Shields school pupil's national award after overcoming adversity

Demi Clark was invited to a ceremony in Manchester, where she found out she had won the award.
Demi Clark was invited to a ceremony in Manchester, where she found out she had won the award.

A schoolgirl from South Shields has won a prestigious honour after overcoming adversity to be top of the class.

Park View School pupil Demi Clark won an award for special achievement at the British Education Awards.

Demi Clark, second right, with other special achievement winners.

Demi Clark, second right, with other special achievement winners.

She was recognised at the awards ceremony in Manchester after gaining five A-C grades in her GCSEs.

Because of personal difficulties, Demi had struggled with mainstream education ahead of her arrival at Park View School in year nine.

She went on to defy expectations with her determination and commitment as she caught up with her peers by taking part in extra classes.

Demi achieved B and C grades in GCSE maths, science, catering, art, English language and in an ICT qualification.

She then sought part-time employment to personally fund her way through college.

Demi is also a gifted singer, and represented Park View in a search for a star competition.

Her nominee said: "Demi is an inspirational young lady who deserves recognition for her achievements."

The British Education Awards (BEA) were launched in 2017 to recognise the outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements of students, and is the only event in the UK that celebrates individual success on a national platform.

The special achievement award is presented to individuals that BEA recognises as having made outstanding progress in the face of challenging circumstances.

The ceremony was held at Beetham Tower, at Hilton Manchester, Deansgate, with 67 finalists invited to attend.

Twenty winners received their prizes across four categories, and were presented with a trophy in front of a packed audience.

Demi was one of four students to win an award for special achievement.

The event was attended by teachers, principals and top university professors from across the country.

About 400 guests gathered for the celebration and enjoyed a three-course dinner and entertainment.

The awards were hosted by BBC Radio Manchester presenter Kevin Fitzpatrick and Chester University’s Professor Basma Ellahi at Hilton Manchester Deansgate on 31 January, 2018.