George Baldock shared his story on social media, which quickly went viralLouis Ashworth for Varsity

A student who was removed from mainstream schooling at age eleven due to severe anxiety and depression has matriculated at Trinity.

George Baldock, a new History and Politics undergraduate, spent his secondary school years in a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) - an alternative education option specifically organised for children with mental health illnesses, neurodiverse learning styles, and behavioural issues.

Only 1% of students who attend PRUs pass five GCSEs, which Baldock has labelled a “disgrace.”

Baldock spoke to Varsity about life in the education system with anxiety and depression:“I’ve always been an anxious person. I was very nervous at primary school but it became impossible to deal with it.”

Whilst at mainstream school, Baldock was put in an internal exclusion unit designed for pupils with poor behaviour and educational difficulties.

“I was sat alongside people who couldn’t cope which made it more anxiety-inducing,” Baldock explained.

“My condition is better now but I still experience waves of anxiety that are difficult to deal with,” he said.

Following a nine-month hiatus from education, Baldock commenced studying for his GCSEs at the PRU, which had 15 pupils in all and smaller class sizes.

After four years at the PRU, he achieved seven GCSEs, attaining a Grade 9 in history, in which he had been offered one-to-one teaching. Following these successes, Baldock returned to mainstream school for his A Levels, achieving straight A*s and full marks in history.


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“Opportunities are lacking but everyone has the capability of doing well. So imagine what could be achieved if PRUs were properly funded,” Baldock said.

Dr Glen Rangwala, Director of Admissions at Trinity, told the Daily Mail: “We’re delighted that George has come to Trinity College”.

“It’s a fantastic learning environment for highly motivated students who are passionate about their subject, and there is excellent support available”, Rangwala continued.

“We hope to encourage and enable any student with the potential to do well at Cambridge to apply”, he added.