Portsmouth schoolboy with painful foot condition asks for remote lessons to continue

A COSHAM student is calling for the reinstatement of his remote lessons after an ‘extremely painful’ condition in his feet means he is unable to walk to or around school.

By Fiona Callingham
Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Thursday, 10th June 2021, 9:05 am

14-year-old Hayden Newman, first started experiencing discomfort in both feet two years ago while making the half-hour walk to Springfield School in Drayton.

A medical appointment revealed he had extra bones in his feet and tarsal coalition - a condition that causes bones to connect.

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Pictured is Hayden Newman, 14, at his home in Cosham. Picture: Sam Stephenson

As the pain grew worse Hayden was unable to get to school.

At first the family were threatened with fines as he missed classes but then it was arranged he could receive home tutoring from the Harbour School. This then transferred to over-the-phone lessons for an hour and a half every day as coronavirus hit.

Hayden’s mum, Terri, said: ‘You could see the pain walking was causing him. I have no way of driving him to school and even if we got him there he wouldn’t be able to walk around and up and down stairs to his different lessons all day.

‘The school said they could put him in a room on his own but he’d not have any supervision there.

Terri Newman, 52, with her son Hayden Newman, 14, at their home in Cosham Picture: Sam Stephenson

‘He was doing absolutely brilliantly with the phone lessons.’

Hayden underwent surgery on his right foot in December last year, which took him six months to recover from - although he still needs crutches, and is awaiting surgery for his left foot to enable him to walk again.

However, in March this year the family claims his phone lessons stopped without warning - leaving Hayden without an education for eight weeks.

52-year-old former nursery worker Terri added: ‘It’s really important that he gets an education and I worry he’s already missed so much - especially as he will have his GCSEs coming up in a couple of years.

‘We’ve tried to find out why they’ve stopped the lessons, he has a doctor’s note explaining his condition.’

Hayden said: ‘I would like to go back to those phone lessons until my feet are better.

‘The lessons I had on the phone were really good and helpful and I really enjoyed them. I managed to concentrate better than being in a normal classroom as well.

‘It’s been a bit lonely at the moment as I’ve got no one to talk to and there’s not a lot to do.

‘The level of pain in my feet depends on how much I walk. Every time I walk a bit it hurts more and more.’

Headteacher of Springfield School, Sara Spivey, said: ‘The school is in discussion with the family to get more information about what level of mobility Hayden has and why he could not manage at school with support.

‘At the current time, the city wide panel which agrees home tutoring provision does not feel they have enough information to be able to allocate continued home tutoring. The family has been made aware of what information is required for this decision to be reviewed.’

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