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Stowmarket man on top of the world after scoring highest exam mark on the planet

PUBLISHED: 13:23 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:50 09 August 2018

Michael Heathcote with his daughter during the special graduation ceremony Picture: EDE AND RAVENSCROFT

Michael Heathcote with his daughter during the special graduation ceremony Picture: EDE AND RAVENSCROFT

EDE AND RAVENSCROFT

A staff member at Suffolk New College has scored the best marks out of everyone in the world in an international exam.

Michael Heathcote, a former army bombardier, took his place on the world stage when he tackled the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) certificate in Environmental Management in April 2017.

The health safety and wellbeing advisor at Suffolk New College said it was “quite the surprise” when he received a letter earlier this year to say he was the best on the planet.

To celebrate his achievement, Mr Heathcote was invited to a graduation ceremony that took place at the University of Warwick at the end of June.

The father of one said he especially appreciated being able to share the success with his daughter.

“To get the award is extra special,” he said. “I received a few awards when I was in the forces but my daughter couldn’t be with me because they were evening events. This time it was great to share this moment together.”

Mr Heathcote – who originally studied public services at Suffolk New College (then Suffolk College) – said he always wished he had studied harder at school during his GCSEs, but made up for lost time by knuckling down for the big moment last year.

He added: “At school, my parents always used to say – make sure you revise – if not you’ll regret it. I did end up taking this advice and excelled with this exam. Knowing I was the best in the world at something was quite the surprise – but I’ll take it.”

Jessyca Muldoon, human resources manager at Suffolk New College, said the staff were “delighted” by Mr Heathcote’s success.

She added: “The fact that he was a former student - who went on to proudly serve his country - and then returned to us as a member of staff - is a lovely cycle.

“Our whole mantra is to offer students an exceptional experience and when we have staff who can shine when faced against competition from the rest of the world, it helps emphasise the outstanding ambitions that we constantly strive for.”

Not yet entirely satisfied with his achievements, Mr Heathcote aims to go back to school again and take more exams from October this year.

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