Northampton teen appeals for help with free tuition after suffering leg tumour

Amber at home with her mum, Joanna. The pair are both appealing for extra tuition help.
Amber at home with her mum, Joanna. The pair are both appealing for extra tuition help.

A teenager from Lings has been denied proper schooling for her upcoming GCSEs, because she is recovering from a tumour in her leg, her mother has said.

Amber Crate-Lionel, 14, has been diagnosed with a desmoplastic fibroma – a benign fibrous tumour of the bone – which means she will not be able to attend Weston Favell Academy for the next two years until medics say she is stable enough.

Mum Joanna Knowles, 40, now has to pay £30 an hour in private tuition fees for her severely dyslexic daughter to study English for one hour a week.

She said: “The school only provides an online school programme, which includes crosswords and missing word games. None of which is relevant to her course work nor have they provided any school work or text books.

“All I would like is some support for Amber, who has high hopes to become a veterinary nurse.

“It seems a great shame that a young person with such drive and ambition is purely let down by educational amenities.”

Headteacher of Weston Favell Academy, Lorna Leventhal said: "I can empathise with Amber and her family. This must be a very difficult time for them. We have been in regular contact with Amber’s mother and my colleagues made a visit to Amber’s home on September 5 to set her up with EDLounge, which links Amber to live, online tuition.

"After her outpatient’s assessment, Amber and her mother visited school on November 1. Following this meeting, a full risk assessment was completed.

"At present, Amber is not quite independent and robust enough to return to school. We have offered Amber a bespoke, phased return and are keen to welcome her back as soon as she is strong enough.

"We are in the fortunate position of being able to accommodate wheelchair users and provide therapeutic swimming sessions at WFA. We have explored high needs funding for Amber, but she does not qualify.

"Amber’s family have applied to send her to a different school, so our support team are not currently making plans for her return.

"We continue to provide the online tutor in the meantime. Amber is a delightful, diligent student and should she choose to return to us, we will do everything we can to help her catch up and succeed."