Daniel beats the odds as he heads for Oxford

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WITH children on free school meals 55 times less likely to get into Oxbridge, Daniel Frampton thought he was dreaming the impossible.

But the bright young student, whose family income was so modest he fell into the poorest category, has now earned himself a place at Oxford University to read history.

Daniel, a former Mayfield student who gained nine A* and seven A GCSEs before winning a place at Portsmouth Grammar School, said: 'I'm so excited, I can't wait to start my degree at Oxford. I always dreamed of being in this position but it didn't seem real when I was growing up because it just wasn't the norm for students like me.

'But I was lucky to have a family who made sacrifices to make sure I gave it a go. It was a case of no holidays and Tesco club card vouchers to pay for dinners while they saved up so I could afford to go to university.

'That money eventually went on the fees for the grammar school, but it has been money well spent and I know I will be able to repay them in the future.'

Daniel is not only the first person in his family to go to university – but also the second ex-Mayfield pupil to win a place at Oxford or Cambridge.

The 18-year-old senior prefect, who was head boy at Mayfield, said: 'I hope I have shown that it is possible to get a place at Oxford no matter where you come from.

'There are so many people out there in schools that will take you on and help you, but you've got to show willingness. It upsets me when I see so many people that could have gone to top universities but shied away from applying themselves.

'It's fear of the unknown, of failure and maybe also because their families don't necessarily value it.'

Daniel lives with his mum Jayne Keenan, step-father Matthew Bloomfield and younger brother Joshua, 12, in Madeira Road, Hilsea.

Even though he is benefiting from a 12,000-a-year education, Daniel says it was his state school upbringing that set him on the right path.

'At Mayfield I had to work harder because I was determined to get high grades where other people didn't want to,' he said. 'Mayfield made me the person who I am.'

Mayfield head Derek Trimmer said: 'Daniel was one of the first pupils at our school who made academia cool and people around him aspired to be successful just like he was.'