A STUDENT who was so anxious he would spend his days hiding in the toilets has walked away with nine GCSEs.

After his transition from primary school, Maltings Academy student Gary Moore was so scared of the new classrooms and teachers he used to hide in the toilets.

By working with the academy's support worker Clare Baldwin, Gary managed to overcome his anxiety and turn his education around.

Gary, who achieved five Bs, a C grade and three Ds, said: "When I moved to secondary school I had a major fear of everything; I was scared of the teachers and the classrooms.

"At primary, I was used to staying with one teacher in one classroom and couldn’t get used to a different way. It was all so new and I struggled to adjust.

"I missed a lot of school in those early days; I can hardly remember Year 7.

"I tried so hard to stay at home, but my mum always made me go in so I would sit in the toilets as it’s the only place I could be at peace with myself."

As time went on Gary improved and was gradually able to get to classes with help and support from Mrs Baldwin.

In Year 11 he went on to become a prefect and will be going to Colchester Institute in September to study engineering.

Gary said: "Now, I look back and if I could tell my younger self anything, I would say you do not have to keep panicking and worrying as things get a lot easier.

"I wasted so much of Year 7 that I then had to really knuckle down hard for the rest of my time at school to make up for it.

"As I got better, I was given a maths tutor and went from being in the fifth set to the second set – and today I got a B in maths."