Pupil killed herself over A-level results

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A SIXTH-FORMER found hanged hours after hearing her A- level results killed herself, an inquest decided yesterday.

The Norwich coroner, James Hipwell, said 20-year-old Charlotte Thompson's disappointment at her grades was the reason for her suicide, and he criticised the exam pressures on young people.

Mr Hipwell said: 'Youngsters appear to be evaluated nowadays only on the basis of A-level grades as opposed to their own characteristics, personalities and abilities.

'These pressures were not there generations before. I can see no reason other than disappointment at the A-level grades she had received for her suicide.'

The coroner said it was a tragic irony that the grades were unlikely to have stopped Charlotte, of Northrepps, north Norfolk, from following the career she had planned in physiotherapy. She needed three Cs and had achieved a B, a C and two Ds.

Charlotte's cousin, Simon Gurney, said that on the morning of 18 August he drove Charlotte to Norwich High School for Girls to get her results.

He said: 'When she came out she was upset and crying as her results were not as good as she expected. She didn't think she would get on the course she wanted.'

Later he went to a cottage she had been helping him to renovate and found her hanging from a beam in the living room.

After the inquest, her father, Charles Thompson, 48, said he and his wife were setting up a telephone helpline for other young people. He added: 'If this prevents any further tragedy, it will be worthwhile.'