8:00am Friday 2nd May 2014
By Miran Rahman
Lauren Birch has proudly joined her classmates for the first time, after adaptations were completed at her primary school.
The five-year-old has had to wait until the summer term for the work to be completed at Laycock Primary School, Keighley. Her mother, April Birch, said that she was delighted her daughter has finally been able to begin her education.
Mrs Birch and her husband, of Knowle Park, Keighley, had been struggling to gain a school place for Lauren since early 2013.
Lauren has cystic fibrosis, along with a second genetic condition which stops her brain developing. She has a limited vocabulary and needs a walking frame and adult assistance to help her walk.
She was offered a place at Laycock Primary in December, but could not begin as the school first needed to finish adaptations.
In order to accommodate Lauren, the school has now constructed a new staff toilet block and First Aid room, to make a toilet available for children with disabilities. While waiting for her school place to become available, Lauren had to remain at a nursery, despite being older than the other youngsters there.
Mrs Birch, 32, said her daughter’s first day at Laycock had gone well. She said that while Lauren had been happy at the nursery, she was already thriving in her new environment.
“The school is completely on board and the support workers are wonderful, I couldn’t have picked them better myself,” Mrs Birch said.
“The building work is still going on – there were a couple of glitches – but nothing that affected when Lauren could start this term.
“Lauren was definitely very ready for this. She’s really excited and she didn’t even want to leave school yesterday. I couldn’t be happier.”
Bradford Council confirmed the delay to Lauren being able to start at the school was the need to agree and arrange the necessary disability alterations there.
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