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Queen of the castle

With truancy and indiscipline rife at her Nottingham comprehensive, it's hardly surprising that Lisa Bainbridge (left) achieved little at school. She did, at least, sit seven GCSEs, but her best result was a D grade. "I used to talk and mess about," she says. "Teachers didn't push me."

Although Lisa left school at 15, she lacked neither energy nor direction.

In 1999 she enrolled at New College, Nottingham, to take GNVQ intermediate business studies. Having passed, she took the equivalent exam in leisure and tourism, gaining a merit and all six key skills at level 2.

Now 19, Lisa is studying for an AVCE (vocational A-level) in travel and tourism, her disrupted schooling a thing of the past.

"For some time I'd been interested in the leisure and tourism industry," she says. "I would like to become a holiday rep and in time wouldn't mind working for a travel agent, in management."

Lisa has already completed work experience and a summer job at Tales of Robin Hood, a tourist attraction in Nottingham city centre.

"She's outspoken and confident and has matured a lot from 16 to 19," says her tutor, Beverly Topham. "She's struggled in some academic areas but she's very good at dealing with the general public."

Andrew Mourant

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