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NCTJ record breaker at 17

A sixth-former at Coombeshead College in Newton Abbot has become the youngest person to pass a National Council for the Training of Journalists exam.

Seventeen-year-old Christine Fullam, who works eight hours a week at the Torquay Herald Express, has passed her prelim exam on handouts.

Her success follows hot on the heels of another student there, Chris Knapman, who passed the preliminary journalism paper at 18.

Christine said: “I was delighted at passing this exam and to be given the chance to work on a newspaper.”

Coombeshead College offers the only course in the country which gives budding journalists the chance to start their training from the age of 16.

It is approved by the NCTJ and supported by Northcliffe Newspapers, which offers training placements through its Westcountry Publications group.

Sue White, a district reporter at the Herald Express, has been seconded to spend half her working week at the college.

She said: “The fact that I am a working journalist is a real benefit to students because they get a realistic idea of what the job of a reporter is all about and a sound foundation in the basic skills required.

“I can give them real press releases, which they write up as they would if they were reporters, and they can compare them with how the stories actually appear in local papers.”

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