TWO York school girls are celebrating after scooping prestigious scholarship awards.

Holly Gardiner, 18, at The Mount School was the only candidate from a field of 53 applicants from across Yorkshire to be awarded the William Akroyd Scholarship, for the three years she will be at university.

The participating candidates came from 22 schools across the county, each gave an essay answer to a chosen question, and a shortlist of six candidates, attended a final interview.

Holly has an offer from Hertford College, Oxford, to study politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) and her essay, on whether the issue of trying to resolve the civil war in Syria has taken second place to the process of eliminating chemical weapons from there, was described as “extremely well answered” and earned her a place on the shortlist.

After the interviews, the William Akroyd’s Foundation confirmed with Mount principal Julie Lodrick, that the award was offered to Holly and that she was the only candidate to be offered the award this year.

Holly, who is also head girl, said: “I feel very honoured to be awarded this scholarship, which makes me feel even more excited about University. The school values our academic interests, and recognises our achievements. I think this helps you feel supported and inspired, and builds your confidence to take up opportunities like the William Akroyd Scholarship.”

Meanwhile his year, The Mount’s own Lydia Rous Scholarship – awarded to “the girl who has contributed the most, academically and practically, to the school in every way during her time at The Mount” – is sixth form student Alice Grierson. The award is named for the school’s superintendent from 1866-1879 who was an inspirational teacher.