Over 6,500 children in Northamptonshire will miss out on their education in 2021, according to new research

New research reveals an alarming 40,137 of children across the East Midlands will miss out on their education because of factors beyond their control

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 3:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 3:10 pm

New research published today (Tuesday) has revealed that 6,638 children in Northamptonshire will miss out on their education in 2021 because of factors beyond their control.

Warm technology company, No Isolation, has launched a campaign 'Back to School but not for all' to urge the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson CBE, to finish what he promised last year and produce a national data-set on the number of children not receiving an adequate education due to long-term absence from school.

The company is also urging local authorities across the UK to ensure that a child's social needs are met and not just focus on their educational needs.

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Over half a million children in the UK will miss out on their education due to factors beyond their control. Credit: Julia M Cameron from Pexels

No Isolation’s UK director, Harriet Gridley, said: “This week children will return to school. But, sadly, not all. No parent or carer should have to fight for their child’s right to an education.

"It is vital that we have a national database of the children in this situation to ensure that their needs are properly provided for. The negative educational and social consequences can be life-long for children who miss out on long-term education.

"We have developed the right, secure, technology to bridge this gap but there is still a postcode lottery dictating whether a child gets access to an adequate provision, such as an AV1 robot, or not.”

Research carried out by No Isolation, found that an alarming 40,137 of children aged five to 16 across the East Midlands will miss out on school due to long-term medical conditions, being 'persistent absentees' with Special Educational Needs (SEND), being impacted by Covid-19 or anxiety and being home-schooled.

This amounts to 522,000 children across the UK as a whole.

No Isolation is the innovative company behind AV1 - the robot avatar that acts as a child’s eyes, ears and voice in the classroom when illness, disability or mental health conditions prevent them from being at school in person.

Thirteen-year-old Alexanda Harvey, from Thorplands, was amongst the first students in Northamptonshire to use the AV1 robot to access his education. He has a range of complex medical conditions including Interstitial Lung Disease, Phenylketonuria (PKU), Surfactant Protein Deficiency C, and Epilepsy. His illnesses mean that he needs to spend a lot of time in hospital, making his attendance at school as low as 20 per cent.

Alexanda's mother Libby Harvey, talking about the research published by No Isolation, said: “These figures are shocking but not surprising unfortunately.

"Throughout Alexanda's education, I have always been really worried about the amount of school time he has missed because of long stays in hospital, specialist appointments in London and tests galore. It is so important that children and young people who cannot be in school full-time are catered for and not forgotten.

“Since Alexanda started using his AV1 robot a few months ago, it has already had a real impact on his learning and basically allows him to be in two places at once - in his hospital bed and in his classroom at the same time and it has also helped him keep in contact with his peers and this is a vital part of children growing up.”

Nationally, over 30 Local Authorities enable over 500 young people to use AV1. The robot was developed in collaboration with children, teachers, scientists, families and the St Olav Hospital School.

For more information about the AV1 robot, visit No Isolation's website at https://www.noisolation.com/av1/ or call 020 3966 5397.