Former Student Thanks Supportive Teachers

Posted by SJV - Thursday 16 July 2020

A former Rich’s student is the first care-leaver to graduate from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Kasmira Kincaid joined Sir Thomas Rich’s in September 2012 and left in 2014 with four A Levels at A*. BBC News Online and The Sunday Times have both featured her inspiring story this week, and the BBC quotes Kasmira as attributing her success to “Marvellously supportive teachers”.

Kasmira - who was known as Vashti at school and is now 25 and writing her first novel - used social media to announce her graduation with a 2:1 degree in English Literature: "Not bad for someone who missed most of secondary school, went through half a dozen foster placements, was homeless at 16, and completed her A-levels living alone on benefits," she tweeted.

While in foster care, Kasmira 'decided to pursue her dream of going to Oxbridge,' writes Sian Griffiths in The Sunday Times on 12 July. 'She was accepted to study for A-levels at Sir Thomas Rich’s Grammar School in Gloucester. Aged 17, with the help of a long-standing social worker, she moved there to live alone on benefits. She studied for four A-levels, which she passed with A* grades. She is reluctant to blame anyone for her teenage experiences. Families, she says, are never simple: "It is easy for people looking from the outside to see a story like mine and figure out who is to blame, but there is always more going on that you do not know about."

'Her message for children with care experiences is this: "It can work out. Lots of amazing writers like Lemn Sissay were in care… You can be anything you want to be… When you have stories like my story, some people can take it as a sign that there are no excuses. But the reason I have done so well is because of all the amazing people who have supported me, from teachers to social workers to my brothers and sisters. That is what makes the difference; it is not all pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole flippin' country to raise a child in care".'

Read The Sunday Times article (paywall)
Sir Thomas Rich’s students and staff can access the article for free via Newspapers For Schools, available in the LRC Online Resources section of Sharepoint.

BBC News, Cambridgeshire