Stubbington school goes the extra mile to allow ill boy, 4, to attend

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  • School employed a nurse and teaching assistant to assist Mikey who has a life-limiting illness
  • Staff and pupils are being trained in Makaton to converse with the four-year-old
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MIKEY Strachan just wanted to go to school like any other child.

Now, thanks to the amazing efforts of staff at Crofton Anne Dale Infant School, Mikey’s dream has come true.

Mikey Strachan, four, with his sisters Skye, five, left, Mika, seven, and mum Chevonne Newlands, at Crofton Anne Dale Infant School in Stubbington

Picture: Loughlan Campbell

Mikey Strachan, four, with his sisters Skye, five, left, Mika, seven, and mum Chevonne Newlands, at Crofton Anne Dale Infant School in Stubbington Picture: Loughlan Campbell

The four-year-old has an undiagnosed life-limiting illness, which means that he is fed nutrients through a tube, breathes air through a tracheostomy and walks mostly via a support frame.

But rather than that meaning they couldn’t take him on, school bosses went all out to help.

Staff have employed a full-time nurse to attend to him and a teaching assistant to help him with his learning.

And the school installed wheelchair ramps to every classroom, built a special room in which Mikey can change in private and as the youngster can only communicate via Makaton – a form of sign language – all the teachers and his classmates are being trained to use it.

They didn’t need to accept him but they did, and then went the extra mile to make sure he would be comfortable, which is simply outstanding.

Chevonne Newlands, Mikey’s mother

His mother, Chevonne Newlands, 34, said: ‘It has just been amazing for him.

‘To be able to go to mainstream school, go to lessons and learn with the other kids, make friends and just feel normal is unbelievable because I know how much it means to him.

‘He’s a little miracle.’

His older sisters Skye, five, and Mika, seven, attend the infants school and junior school. This played a big role in Mikey wanting to attend, as he wanted to be close to his siblings.

Ms Newlands, from Stubbington, added: ‘He is really loving it since he started.

‘He’s loving his school work and is making lots of friends.

‘It is all he ever wanted and I just cannot thank the school enough.

‘They didn’t need to accept him but they did, and then went the extra mile to make sure he would be comfortable, which is simply outstanding.’

According to his mum, Mikey takes a packed lunch to school despite his condition so he can sit with the other children during breaks.

Lorraine Phillips, the school’s executive headteacher said: ‘It was really important for us to keep the family close and to help him in any way we could.

‘Mikey is such a lovely little boy and you can tell how delighted he is to be here.

‘We felt that it was the little things really in this case that were needed to help him have the same experience as everybody else.

‘It was our pleasure to help him.’

The school partially funded the works around the facility and the new staff with the rest of the cost covered by Hampshire County Council.