A six-year-old schoolgirl is celebrating today after passing a GCSE in maths. Deborah Thorpe is thought to be the youngest child to have passed a GCSE in England.
Deborah, from Chadwell Heath, south east London, sat the exam when she was just five, and after celebrating her sixth birth, collected her E grade result along with thousands of older children up and down the country. Last year seven-year-old Oscar Selby, from Surrey, got an A* in GCSE maths.
The clever little lady took extra lessons on Saturdays to prepare for the exam, although she admits she actually wants to be a doctor and maths isn't her favourite subject.
'You see young people in the newspapers who have taken exams and you think, why not?' says Deborah's proud dad, Charles.
'We thought we might as well just give it a go. I wouldn't say maths is her favourite subject, but when she says she wants to be a doctor I tell her that she must be very good at science and maths. We want her to be outstanding and exceptional in every way.'
However Charles insists that despite her young age, Deborah isn't too young to be taking on exams usually reserved for 15 and 16-year-olds:
'I wouldn't say that she is too young. Presidents of the world used to be old and now they are middle-aged. The younger generations are taking over now. We don't stress her out, telling her 'you've got to do this.''
Deborah does have a TV watching ban from Monday to Thursday in order to concentrate on her academic work.
What do you think? Too much too young?