Trainee teachers and nursery nurses at Bishop Auckland College have come top of the class with a 100 per cent pass rate for their childcare course.

In a major success story for the college, eight of the nine students taking the Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education secured an A grade, including two at A*, with one B grade, a much higher pass rate than the national average.

Some have already secured their first job in early years, while others are moving on to higher education.

The hard work of A* student Rachel Beaston, 17, of Auckland Park, has been rewarded with a place at Leeds Trinity University this autumn on its BA (Hons) Degree in Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status.

Rachel said she was delighted with her achievement: “I was first inspired to pursue a career in early years at school doing a GCSE in child development. When I then took my diploma, alongside the academic learning it was my work placements in private and state settings which persuaded me that it was primary education for me. The A* grade has helped me secure the university place which will give me the teaching qualification I need, so I am over the moon.”

Fellow student Emilia Mattinson, 18, Toft Hill, Bishop Auckland, who achieved a grade A, has secured employment at Smallworld Day Nursery in Staindrop and has enrolled on the college’s Foundation Degree in Education & Care.

Grade A students Ellie Mavin, 19, of Crook, and Lucy Hinch, 18, of Barnard Castle, are starting their careers at Bishop Auckland College Nursery, while Daisymay Robinson, 18, of Bishop Auckland, is working for Jack in the Box Day Care in its after school club at Tudhoe Moor Nursery School.

It was also an A for Amy Eltringham, 18, of Bishop Auckland, who has enrolled on the Foundation Degree in Education & Care at the college.

Leighia Burke, 18, of Bishop Auckland, has been accepted for a place on a BA (Hons) Degree in Social Work while A* student Rebecca Applegarth, 19, of Newton Aycliffe, (pictured below) and Natasha Aspray, 18, of Crook, are both looking for their first early years role.

Praising the “hard work, dedication and tremendous efforts” of both staff and students, Head of School for Early Years Paula Taylor, said: “I am immensely proud of a great team of learners. They have all done extremely well and I am delighted for everyone. I would like to wish them all luck in their careers as early years practitioners.”

Course co-ordinator Stacy Stoker added: “They have all worked exceptionally hard to achieve their remarkable results and are all driven and motivated to gain employment in their vocational field or to access Higher Education.”