A former student described as “outstanding” and “a joy to teach” hated her life during high school, it has been revealed.

“Quirky” and “conscientious” teenager Mary Walker, 18, from Broughton, was predicted a string of A*s at GCSE. “We rewarded her by sitting her next to the boy who liked to throw glue sticks,” Walker’s class teacher Liz McHodge, 58, explained.

Students referred to Gifted and Talented schemes are thought to be deeply troubled and unhappy people, according to studies. “Most of them should have probably been sent to pastoral care,” McHodge admitted.

“For my English coursework they praised me for my creative imagination,” Walker said. “They thought I was writing from the perspective of a wailing Victorian ghost with early onset anorexia. Really, I was just writing as me.”

“Still, she ended up at a leading university,” insisted McHodge. What did she go onto after that? “Fluoxetine. Then it was Sertraline, I think.”

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