A Flintshire high school student has received the highest accolade from an online education body, after refusing to allow difficult circumstances to stand in the way of achieving her goals.

KT Leigh Tarran, 16, attends Flint High School and has just won the iAchieve Inspirational Student Award after completing a two-year vocational course in Equality and Diversity, equivalent to two Grade B GCSEs, alongside her other GCSE subjects.

Angela Chatfield, course tutor and learning manager at the school, nominated KT Leigh for the award for her resilience, strength of character and dedication to her studies despite having to overcome an unsettled home life.

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She said: "I am so thrilled for KT Leigh, she truly deserves to win the iAchieve Inspirational Student Award as she is such an inspirational young person who, in spite of all the personal struggles and challenges that she has already faced in her young life, has remained positive, kind, thoughtful and empathetic towards others.

"Her attendance, behaviour and attitude to learning is exemplary and she always has a smile on her face. KT Leigh is quite simply an outstanding student with a confident outlook on life and a determination to succeed in her qualifications.

"Myself and my colleagues at Flint High agree KT Leigh is an exceptional young person who has refused to allow her personal circumstances impact negatively on her education, day-to-day life, or future career aspirations. KT Leigh is without a doubt a shining star and an example to us all; she is also an excellent mentor for younger students in the school."

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In studying for the Equality and Diversity qualification, KT Leigh has learned about the different types of discrimination and inequality that can exist within schools, communities, and the workplace across the UK, many of the same prejudices that she herself has experienced. She has used this knowledge to develop greater awareness of equal opportunities and acceptance of diversity and, last year, she was appointed as a prefect, helping support students and staff at the school.

Mrs Chatfield added: "iAchieve has underpinned KT Leigh's learning journey through challenging and tough times; it has helped her make sense of the world and form positive opinions as she matures into a responsible young citizen. Her personal, social, and emotional development has grown along the way, and we all wish her every happiness and success for the future, no one deserves it more."

A presentation ceremony was held at the school and KT Leigh was presented with her certificate and prize, an Apple iPad, by Jonathan Ovenden from iAchieve.

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He said: ""It has been really exciting for us to hear from all the schools involved in the awards this year and there have been some amazing nominations.

"We were blown away by KT Leigh's nomination, her determination, perseverance, and resilience despite everything else going on has been truly inspiring.

"We have also been really impressed by Angela Chatfield and the whole of Flint High School in their dedication to their students' success. We wish KT Leigh all the best with her future endeavours."

KT Leigh, who will be going on to study childcare at college in September, said: "I am very pleased to receive the award from iAchieve and would like to thank my teacher, Mrs Chatfield, for all her support throughout the course."

• iAchieve is a web-based vocational learning platform that has enabled students to continue their studies at home during the pandemic. It supports schools to successfully implement and deliver high quality vocational programmes that lead to nationally recognised qualifications for learners.