A TEENAGER is making history after becoming Accrington Academy’s first student to be offered a place at Oxford University.

Natalie Whitham, who joined the academy in 2010, achieved all As and A*s in her GCSEs in summer 2015.

The 18-year-old from Accrington stayed on in the school’s sixth form to study A levels in law, psychology, maths and religious studies.


With a dream to study at Oxford, last year she attended an admissions summer school, as well as an Oxbridge interview preparation course at the London School of Economics.

She is now the first student in the history of the Queens Road West academy, which opened in 2008 on the site of the former Moorhead Sports College, to be offered a place.

If she achieves straight As in her A levels in the summer, Natalie will study law and hopes to become a barrister when she graduates.

Natalie said: “I’m completely overwhelmed with excitement at the thought of receiving an offer.

“It has been such an intense process and now all of the hard work has paid off.

“I cannot thank the staff at Accrington Academy enough for encouraging and supporting me throughout the application process.”

Ben Whittaker, the academy’s head of sixth form, said: “Natalie has shown an exceptional commitment to her studies and we are so proud that she has finally received the just rewards for her hard work and preparation.”

“As the country’s leading universities, everyone aspires to gain a place at Oxford or Cambridge and Natalie’s unwavering dedication has seen her do just that.”

Andy O’Brien, academy principal, said: “Not only is this an incredible achievement, but what makes it particularly special is that Natalie is our first student to gain a place at Oxford, with hopefully many more to come.”

Natalie’s mum, Vicky Gregson, said: “It is hard to put into words how proud I am of Natalie.

“We’re also really pleased with all the support she has had from the academy and are confident that she will get the grades she needs this summer.”