A FORMER Milford Haven School pupil who became the first in more than ten years to get into Oxford has spoken about her disappointment that the sixth form could close.

Natalie Thomas was one of only three pupils in the county to be accepted into an Oxbridge university this year, putting part of her success down to the teachers.

Natalie said the teachers at the school worked tirelessly, going above and beyond to help the students achieve their best.

“I think it will be a real loss for Milford Haven,” she said. “There are not a lot of job opportunities in the town anyway, to take away the higher education when there are already limited opportunities, you are taking away even more from the town.

“I went to the college open day and I knew it wasn’t for me. I had been at that school since year seven. The jump from GCSE to A-level is big, it can be a struggle.”

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Natalie added that going to a new school in a new town, even if it was only up the road, can be difficult for people going through something that is already quite stressful.

She said the benefit of staying at the school was the teachers knew the pupils having watched them grow and knew how to get the best out of them.

Natalie, who started studying history earlier this month, was the first person in her family to go university.

The sixth form, and especially the teachers, were a big part in Natalie achieving her goal of getting into an Oxbridge University, she said.

“I think it played a big role in me going to Oxford,” she said.

“While I didn’t apply while I was there - I was on my gap year when I applied - I went to my old head of year and she was willing to help me on her own time.

“She put me in touch with someone about the application process, even though I wasn’t a student anymore.”

Natalie added that it was clear from her time at the school that the teachers were trained to teach that level of education and it was something they excelled at.

Natalie had a message for the governors and councillors considering shutting the sixth form.

“Reconsider - think of the young people of the town,” she said,

“Think of how difficult it will be [for pupils] to attend a new school in a new place.

“The sixth form is a really special part of the school and that is where people have their best memories.

“Everyone who goes to the sixth form says it has such a great atmosphere. I’m surprised that they want to go ahead with this, in a town where there is hardly any opportunities I think it is a real shame.”