Tiffin Girls' School students were in the top 10 of a nationwide cyber security challenge aimed at getting more girls into the profession.

Lucy Garrett, Suhani Boobal, Rishita Karamsetty and Prisha Sood went to Buckingham Palace on May 2 for a celebration, after being invited by the Duke of York.

The top 10 teams were the best of the 4,500 girls who took part in the challenge, the brainchild of experts at the National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ.

Speaking after the final, pupil Rishita Karamsetty said: “It was fun to try and solve the problems by working together. We wouldn’t have got to the final without our teamwork skills.

“I would definitely recommend this to other girls. There are not many women working in the cyber security industry and the competition was a good opportunity for us to try things out.”

Now in its second year, the competition's creators devise 170 challenges of varying difficulty for girls aged 12 and 13.

Girls from 399 schools taking part – a 52 per cent rise in the number of schools from last year.

Speaking to the girls at Buckingham Palace, The Duke of York said: “CyberFirst is absolutely crucial to encourage girls to be at the forefront of cyber security. We do have a shortage of skills in this area, but this is an open field of opportunity, and all those standing in this room should recognise their capability and potential.”

Organisers have set a target to quadruple the number of schools taking part in 2019 - GCHQ’s centenary year.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Skills and Growth, said: “The CyberFirst Girls competition show us the vast amount of female talent in our schools and just how skilled they are – we hope this will inspire the next generation of tech-savvy young women to consider a career in cyber security."