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Celebrations and clearing: Camden students on A-level day

PUBLISHED: 14:32 19 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:05 07 September 2010

Celebrating success: South Camden Community School pupils 
Hafsa Farah, Ikram Mursal, Zamiya Shire and Sahra Sulley.

Celebrating success: South Camden Community School pupils Hafsa Farah, Ikram Mursal, Zamiya Shire and Sahra Sulley.

STUDENTS have been celebrating getting their university places across north London this morning while many schools opened early over the concern at a lack of clearing places for those who fell just short. Schools across Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Westm

STUDENTS have been celebrating getting their university places across north London this morning while many schools opened early over the concern at a lack of clearing places for those who fell just short.

Schools across Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Westminster saw dozens of pupils achieve the grades to get into their first choice university.

In South Camden Community School, Hafsa Farah achieved two A grades in sociology and biology and a B in psychology so won her place studying biomedical science at Brunel University.

Ikram Mursal got an A in science, B in maths and D in sociology and is due to study pharmacy at Kingston University.

Zamiya Shire got an A in science, C in sociology and D in psychology and got a place studying radiography at St George's University of London.

Sahra Sulley got A in sociology and C in religious education.

Hafsa, 18, said: "I am so pleased. I had to get three Bs to get into Brunel but I've done much better than I expected."

Many schools opened early due to fewer clearing places available this year.

National reports predicted the number of places would drop by up to 50 per cent.

Some universities also pulled out of clearing altogether because they were so oversubscribed.

University acceptance notifications for students were on the UCAS website from midnight with clearing opening at 7am.

Many teachers came in at that hour to give those who fell short the best chance of earning a spot in university.

Adam Pettitt, headteacher of Highgate School said: "We wanted to give pupils every chance to use clearing and help any pupils who may have slipped a grade but may still be accepted by their university of choice. They're the really critical group especially because of the increased pressure on places this year."

Some students were left frustrated by the online acceptance reports as the UCAS site crashed leaving them in the dark over whether they had made the grade or not.

Denis Kent, 18, of Hampstead Garden Suburb, logged onto the UCAS website at midnight to see if he had gained a place at Oxford, but the system had crashed.

He logged on again at 3am and found that "his offer had changed" but when he tried to find out what to, the system crashed again.

After a sleepless night worrying, Denis arrived at Highgate School at 7.30am to find out that his offer had changed from "conditional" to "unconditional" because he had achieved 4A*s in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths.

"It was very nerve-racking when I found out that my offer had changed but I couldn't find out why," Denis said. "I've always been quite solid with my science and maths but I wasn't expecting to do this well. I was really surprised to get my A*s."

Denis will now read biochemistry at Oxford this year.

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