An autistic Hassocks student who was told he would never take exams is celebrating GCSE success.
Nat Dudman, 15, a student at specialist school LVS Hassocks, achieved a B and two 4’s – equivalent to C’s – in his GCSE results.
He now plans to return to the school in London Road, Sayers Common, for another year to study for more exams before going to Northbrook College to study aviation engineering.
His mother Lynda Sayers said: “I am extremely pleased with his results and he is happy too, considering when he was in main stream school they said that he would never be able to take any exams!
“It just goes to show that when the teachers and school believe in someone they can achieve great things.
“I would like to say a very big thank you to all at LVS for believing in my son, I am so very proud of him.”
Nat achieved a B in ICT and 4’s in maths and English language.
His results ‘demonstrate the development possible at the school which prepares students for independent futures’, the school said.
He was one of a group of seven students to celebrate their GCSE results today, with 82 per cent of the exam papers graded A*-E or equivalent, and 47 per cent of them graded A*-C or equivalent across ICT, maths, English language, art and statistics.
Sarah Sherwood, interim head of school, said: “I am delighted that our results today will help our students to continue to grow academically and set them up for further education and the chance to lead independent lives in future.
“Nat Dudman is a great example of a student struggling in a mainstream school whose prospects can be transformed with the right specialist education.
“We look forward to helping many more students with autism to achieve their academic potential in future.”
A spokesman for the school added: “LVS Hassocks’ approach of individual calming strategies and a wide range of therapist support available on site has paid dividends as the school’s results have helped students achieve places in mainstream education for September.
“These include Martin Pullen who received an excellent 6 (equivalent of a B) in his fine art GCSE and will now go on to study art at East Surrey College.
“Giving students with autism the confidence to sit exams can be a challenge, with many suffering from high anxiety and exams being a stressful time for any student, making the results even more noteworthy.
“Those students who stay on at LVS Hassocks to gain the qualifications and social skills they need to live independent lives in future will be able to choose from a variety of exam options as well as additional GCSEs, including a range of A-Levels and BTECs to ensure they can study the most suitable education for them.”