Leukaemia sufferer Kieran Arthey in fight for schooling for ill children
Kieran Arthey with his
stepdad David Monk and mum Clare Arthey
He's conquered one of the biggest fights of his life, but former
leukaemia sufferer Kieran Arthey is taking on another on behalf of
children like him who have battled cancer and tried to keep up with
their schoolwork at the same time.
Eleven-year-old Kieran, who is now in Year 7 at Maidstone
Grammar School in Barton Road, was invited to the House of Commons
by CLIC Sargent to highlight the need for youngsters with the
disease don’t get left behind when they return to school.
Mark Tami MP, whose own son Max had leukaemia at the age of
nine, was calling for improvements in primary education provision
for affected children in an adjournment debate on Friday.
Kieran’s mum, Clare Arthey, filled in an online survey about his
schooling with CLIC last year, which was used in a report released
last month, No Child With Cancer Left Out.
Kieran had been diagnosed at the age of eight
with a rare form of leukaemia, PH Plus, and missed Year 4 at
primary school. He had to have a stem cell transplant in February
2010, which knocked his immune system and meant he had to stay off
Despite losing so much time, he went on to pass his 11 Plus and
gain a place at grammar school.
Clare said: “He still does get very tired and that will be for
years to come, as a result of his radiotherapy.
"He is small and he is skinny and I worry about him playing
rugby, but he does it.”
She said of Kieran’s trip to the Houses of Parliament, which
included a tour, a visit to the House where he was able to sit
where Prime Minister David Cameron sits, and a tour of the House of
Lords: “He was buzzing when he got home – not tired at all.”
The report found that 35% of parents felt their child was
bullied or teased on their return to school after being diagnosed
with cancer, and 47% said their child had grown apart from their
friends, with their school not helping maintain contact with
About 70% said they received some form of education when off
school but 56% said they found it hard to readjust to school and
one in five said they were unnecessarily excluded from trips.
Mr Tami, who represents Alyn and Deeside in Wales, was told by
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare
that the “pupils with cancer deserve as good an education as any
other pupil and poor health should never mean poor education.”
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