Young Citizen: Newbury Park student’s 100% attendance despite two-hour commute

PUBLISHED: 16:48 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:48 06 October 2017

Virusan Kathan, from Oaks Park High School, was nominated for the Young Citizen award in September. Picture: Ken Mears

Virusan Kathan, from Oaks Park High School, was nominated for the Young Citizen award in September. Picture: Ken Mears


A hardworking pupil, who has hit 100 per cent attendance despite having to commute two hours from temporary accommodation in west London, is this week’s Young Citizen nominee.

Virusan Kathan, 17, has made every lesson at Oaks Park High School, in Oaks Lane, Newbury Park, this year, despite being uprooted from his home in Ilford to Hounslow by Redbridge Council.

Virusan and his two brothers Viruthan and Vipusan, in Years 9 and 11, face a gruelling two-hour commute to school.

They wake up at 5am each day to be driven 30 miles down the A406 by their parents, a task made more difficult by the constant road works.

Virusan is this week’s Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award nominee, an award which aims to recognise the achievements of Redbridge’s extraordinary youngsters.

The Kathans decided to apply for a council house after becoming “sick” of renting, but were shocked when, last July, they were temporarily relocated to the other side of London.

They had lived in Ilford for nine-and-a-half years.

Virusan is described by teacher and nominator Laura Richardson as an “upbeat, kind and enthusiastic” young man who “loves education”.

Mrs Richardson described how, initially an average pupil at GCSE level, Virusan has “flourished” at sixth form, and is on target to get double distinction in his health and social care BTEC, and a distinction in applied science.

She said: “He is a shining example of someone who is triumphing, despite adversity”.

Virusan told the Recorder his Hindu religion and education is very important to him.

He said: “My culture motivates me. Without education I get nowhere”.

Virusan said that while the first two weeks in Hounslow were awkward and frustrating: “I’m now just focusing on my learning and my UCAS application particularly.”

The award is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which will provide each monthly winner with a £30 gift card.

The Young Citizen of the Year will be crowned at next year’s Mayor’s Community Awards.

You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing

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