Joy of first school day for disabled Keighley girl

Lauren Birch enjoys her first day at Laycock Primary School

Lauren Birch enjoys her first day at Laycock Primary School

First published in News by

A disabled Keighley girl has finally enjoyed her first day at school after her start date was put back by more than a year.

Five-year-old Lauren Birch started at Laycock Primary School on Monday.

Her mother, April Birch, this week said she was very pleased Lauren has finally been able to begin her school education.

She and her husband had been struggling to gain a place for Lauren since early 2013.

Bradford Council said the delay was caused by the need to agree and arrange the necessary disability alterations at Laycock Primary.

Lauren, who lives in Knowle Park, has cystic fibrosis, along with a second genetic condition that stops her brain developing.

She has very limited vocabulary and needs a walking frame and adult assistance.

She was offered a place at Laycock Primary in December last year, but could not begin immediately as the school first needed to finish building adaptations to make its premises accessible for her.

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, Lauren had to remain at a local nursery, despite being significantly older than the other youngsters there.

Mrs Birch, 32, said her daughter’s first day at Laycock had gone well. She added 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,” she said.

“The building work is still going on – there were a couple of glitches – but nothing that affected when Lauren could start this term. She 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.”

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