A disabled award winner who met Prince Harry and Meghan last week was barred from returning to school to sit her A-levels – for having too much time off sick.
Evie Toombes, 16, won the Inspirational Young Person award for her brave battle against two incurable conditions.
Last week she chatted with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex before receiving her award at a WellChild charity do.
But she was “completely crushed” by a decision to stop her going to sixth-form college because of her attendance record and GCSE results, both of which were heavily affected by weeks in hospital.
Keen horse rider Evie said: “The contrast between my last two weeks is crazy. WellChild was wonderful, it gave me a real lift and everyone was so lovely.
“Harry and Meghan were really interested in my educational work in primary schools. But now I’m being told I won’t be able to study for my A-levels.”
Evie, of Skegness, Lincs, was born with spina bifida and recently diagnosed with gastroparesis, a paralysed stomach.
She has been in and out of hospital, causing her attendance at Skegness Grammar to drop to 50%.
She did pass three GCSEs by studying online modules and sitting some exams in hospital.
But her dreams of sixth-form English and Psychology were dashed when she fell short of admissions criteria.
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Evie, who tweeted about “blogging with the ponies” after hearing the news, said: “The school has advised me to do a vocational course like hairdressing. It feels like I’m being forced out.”
Last Tuesday Evie chatted for several minutes with Meghan and Prince Harry, a patron of WellChild.
She won her award for her work mentoring disabled children and giving talks to primary pupils.
Skegness Grammar School made a U-turn after being contacted by the Mirror. A spokesman said she would now be offered an A-level place and the school was making “adjustments for her needs”.
He added: “We apologise unreservedly for any distress to Evie and her parents.”
However Evie’s mum Caroline, 47, said the school had yet to be in touch with the family, adding: “That’s news to me.”
- Evie is trying to raise money for equipment to allow her to travel further from her home. Donations welcome here .
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