FOR the second successive year, a Darwen sixth form is sending one of its students to Oxford.

Darwen Aldridge Community Academy’s Tamara Newton, of Blackburn Road, has been given an unconditional offer to study fine art at St Edmund Hall College.

There, she will join up with former Academy student Khushna Sulaman-Butt, who started her degree in Oxford last September.

After gaining an A* and two As in her A-levels in the summer, Tamara applied to Oxford at the start of her gap year and, after impressing university academics over a testing two-day process, including being interviewed by the 2012 Turner Prize-winning artist Elizabeth Price, she was awarded her place for September.

The 18-year-old said: “Waiting for the result of my interview was nerve-racking and I was ecstatic when I received my letter.

“I am so happy to be going to Oxford and cannot thank my teachers enough.

“They were inspirational and constantly challenged me to take risks and experiment with ideas. They are all amazing people who give up huge amounts of their free time in the evening and at weekends to help students.”

Assistant principal Howard McWilliam said: “We recognised from very early on that Tammy was both an outstanding academic and creative student, and our expert staff have carefully nurtured her talents. We are all very pleased for her.

“She is undoubtedly an artistic force for the future and we look forward to her regular visits to work with our current sixth-formers.”

Louise Klinck, director of learning for art, said: “Tammy thoroughly deserves this.

“She has worked incredibly hard on her technical ability and contextual understanding to be able to express her ideas to such a high standard.

“Her work is some of the most innovative and creative I have seen in someone so young.”