A BEDBOUND Malvern girl has been without an education for most of the past four years.

Alice Cox, aged 12, has been unable to attend school since August 2019 - but has been given only nine weeks of tutoring at home in that time.

Her problems started four years ago when she was taken ill with pneumonia while a pupil at Malvern Wells Primary School.

Malvern Gazette: Alice sleeps a lot and is unable to eat solid foodsAlice sleeps a lot and is unable to eat solid foods (Image: Victoria Cox)

Mum Victoria said: “They pushed her to go back to school but she just went downhill from there. 

“She’s in a very hard and serious situation. She is very fatigued, in a lot of pain, sleeps a lot and is barely able to eat. At the moment she has a BMI of -4, she is very, very poorly.

“She needs 24-hour care, is not eating solids but they keep asking ‘why can’t she come to school?”

“We were finally given a home tutor last September after three years of no education, but nine weeks later we had an email telling us they were pulling it.

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“She was doing brilliantly and we’ve never been given a reason for why it stopped.

“We’ve called every department possible but have been left on voicemail for the past nine months.

“Even the MP was given to understand the situation was being sorted. Children only get one chance at an education.”

Victoria said not even a diagnosis of autism has helped get a workable education plan in place for Alice, who lives in Great Malvern and is now registered with Hanley Castle High School.

Malvern Gazette: Alice was diagnosed with autism during a stay in hospitalAlice was diagnosed with autism during a stay in hospital (Image: Victoria Cox)

“It was during a 10-day stay in hospital that we were given the autism diagnosis - that was 18 months ago,” she said.

Alice’s parents managed to get an EHCP - an education, health and care plan - in place but this will only be implemented if she is able to go back to school.

According to guidance set out by the Department for Ecucation, local authorities - in this case Worcestershire County Council - are “ responsible for arranging suitable full-time education for children of compulsory school age who, because of illness, would not receive suitable education without such provision”.

A spokesperson for Worcestershire Children First said: “Whenever a child is physically unable to attend school due to ill health, we will work with the family, health professionals, and the school to agree a plan that allows the child to continue to access their learning.

“We are continuing to support the family to put in place provision which enables learning in mainstream education.”

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin said it was her policy not to comment on individual casework.