A team of four Year 8 codebreakers from King Edward’s School have secured themselves a place in the UK National Final of the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst Girls Competition after winning a nail-biting regional final.

Competing against 27 other teams at the University of West of England on 8 February, Hannah Blacker, Beech MacDonald, Charlotte Clark and Zoya Dimov battled it out to win first place in the last 30 minutes of the competition.

In an attempt to boost interest in cyber security among females, who are currently under-represented in the industry, CyberFirst Girls Competition has been running an annual contest since 2017 and, this year, attracted the attention of nearly 12,000 girls.

The competition tests each team’s skills on topics ranging from logic and cryptography to networking and online safety. In the first four years of the competition, 36,000 girls have taken part in the challenge.

The KES team will now join nine other school teams at the grand final on 15 March.