Heacham teens excluded over sponsored charity effort

Brooke Redmile and Olivia Fane who have excluded for three days from Smithdon High for taking part in a sponsored 3-legged day for Children In Need. ANL-161123-091408009
Brooke Redmile and Olivia Fane who have excluded for three days from Smithdon High for taking part in a sponsored 3-legged day for Children In Need. ANL-161123-091408009

Two 15-year-old students have expressed their upset after they were excluded from school while completing a charity challenge last week.

Olivia Fane and Brooke Redmile, who are both year 11 students at Smithdon High School, Hunstanton, had planned to spend last Friday at school three-legged to raise money for Children in Need.

But the pupils, from Heacham, said they were told to undo their legs before the first lesson of the day, and after the pair did not comply with the demand, they were excluded from the secondary school for three days.

Miss Fane said: “We didn’t want to retract our word from the sponsors, especially after we had raised so much for charity. We have previously done three-legged challenges all day to raise money for charity – all of which have been successful.”

The pair had gathered more than £65 in sponsorship money to go to the Children in Need appeal, and said they did not want to let their sponsors down.

Miss Fane said she and Brooke continued to be tied to each other for the rest of the day after being sent home.

Kylie Redmile, Brooke’s mum, said: “It just seemed unnecessary to exclude them for three days. We’re very unhappy about the situation.”

Ms Redmile said that the girls had been granted permission to complete the challenge in the days leading up to last Friday, but on the day were told that year 11 students were not allowed to participate in activities such as this.

She added: “I understand that the girls didn’t listen to instructions, and that the school is the superior authority, even though they had previously been given the go-ahead, but I have more of a problem with the way it has been handled.”

The pair returned to Smithdon High School on Wednesday following their exclusion, which school officials have described as “positive”.

Acting headteacher Laura Holland said: “They were not excluded for raising money for charity. They were excluded for failing to follow instructions.

“The issue is now resolved, they are now back in school, and are both very positive. A lot of schools do not allow children to be three-legged for health and safety reasons.

“We always encourage them to raise money for charity, but in the circumstances they were not able to do what they wanted.”

Mrs Holland added that students were allowed to come to school in non-uniform last Friday as part of the Children in Need appeal.