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Pupil, 15, in isolation and missing exams for non-uniform footwear

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A West Norfolk school has made a 15-year-old with learning difficulties miss exams due to his non-uniform footwear.

St Clement's High has been putting Ethan Broughton into isolation because he's been attending in all-black trainers due to his school shoes being too small.

His parents say they are supportive of school regulations - including uniform - but are reluctant to buy new school shoes so close to the long summer holiday.

Ethan in the trainers which have landed him in trouble at school. (57783514)
Ethan in the trainers which have landed him in trouble at school. (57783514)

Ethan's mum, Laura, said she wanted to highlight the issue publicly because she was not prepared to accept the school's inflexibility over the issue any longer.

The school told the Lynn News: "We are working to resolve the situation."

Mrs Broughton believes Ethan is being punished unfairly and said he had missed some trial GCSE exams over the issue.

"Last week he told me his school shoes were too small and they were hurting him.

"So I sent him in black trainers which still looked smart. They have no logos on them and no other colour," she said.

Ethan is said to have been put into isolation with set classwork for not having the right footwear, a claim the Terrington St Clement school has not refuted.

When the Year 10 student arrived at school on Tuesday, he was told to go to registration and then immediately head for isolation again.

Mrs Broughton said he was later in tears on the phone to her.

She added: "We're so close to the end of term - two-and-a-half weeks away from the summer holidays.

"With the current cost of living crisis, I refuse to buy new school shoes at this point. Who knows how long they are going to fit him?

"It's getting close to the point of do I feed my child or do I buy new school shoes?"

The family, who live in Clenchwarton, paid for Ethan to be assessed privately for dyslexia during lockdown and he was found to be "severe".

Mrs Broughton said: "He'd gone undiagnosed. He'd gone under the radar but he's got a very low reading age and learning age.

"I just want him to be normal and fit in and I feel the school is just making an example of him at the moment."

As Ethan had missed so much learning during the pandemic and was still struggling, the school's stance on the trainers issue was just another problem, she added.

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