Cardiff Schoolgirl Under Exam Pressure Took Her Own Life on Day of GCSE Assessment

A 15-year-old schoolgirl from Cardiff took her own life on the day she was due to take a GCSE assessment, an inquest heard.

Maya Walker, from Llandaff, Cardiff, attended Cathedral School and hadn’t been for five months prior to her unfortunate death on February 27. She was an academically gifted pupil who enjoyed playing hockey and was preparing for her upcoming exams.

An inquest found that her behaviour had changed drastically over summer in 2019 and refused to return to school in September.

Coroner Graeme Hughes said conflict at home and ‘stress and anxiety’ caused by ‘perceived pressure to succeed’ had been contributing factors.

Her mum Coral told the inquest at Pontypridd Coroners’ Court: “Maya had attended the summer term as normal, and we had gone on a family holiday to America.

“But she did not want to return in September, and she felt there was no point. When I asked her to talk about it, she said she felt pressured by tests.

“I told her not to worry about it, but she was concerned that she wouldn’t do well.

“She was excellent at everything and had won an academic prize, but she said she didn’t want the attention, that she didn’t like any attention.

“Maya was performing well at school, but there was a stark change in her over the summer holidays. She loved hockey, but she wouldn’t go on a pre-season hockey tour and she never returned to school.”

Cathedral Headteacher said that Maya was ‘bright, popular and kind’ and was shocked when she didn’t return in Year 11.


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