A TEENAGE girl who has been without a school or college place since last summer has appealed for help to allow her to pass essential English and maths exams.

Olivia Matthews, 17, who lives in Devizes with her mum Paula was pleased with the five GCSEs she passed at level four or equivalent and was hopeful of getting a place in sixth form at Devizes School.

But she says she was made to feel embarrassed when she was told in front of her friends that her grades at English Language and maths meant she would not be able to do A levels or re-sit exams.

Olivia, who suffered with severe liver problems as a child said: “I was pleased with my results and a lot of teachers were really happy for me on the results day.

“I was led to believe I had a place in sixth form and my name was on the register. Since June I have become very isolated and it is making me depressed.

“Friends with similar grades were allowed into sixth form. I really just wanted to be able to re-sit my English and maths at school. Without those I can’t get an apprenticeship with Wiltshire Police which is my dream.”

White Horse Federation, which runs Devizes School, has apologised to Olivia and her mum about the way her situation was dealt with.

But her mother thinks they have also been let down by Wiltshire Council which has refused to fund a taxi so Olivia could go to Wiltshire College. It offered £11 a day but the cost of a taxi for the three day course would have been £150.

Olivia’s medical condition means she suffers from severe sickness when she travels by bus.

Her mum said: “I feel like Olivia has just been abandoned.”

Town councillor Chris Greenwood has taken up the case of the family and has written to Wiltshire Council and the education trust.

He said: “It seems as if Olivia has just been left on the scrapheap and she deserves more.” Devizes headteacher Phil Bevan said: “Last summer Olivia Matthew’s took her GCSE exams. Olivia did not manage to achieve the minimum grades needed to access courses at Devizes School Sixth Form. We recognise Olivia’s hard work, however we also want to remain respectful to the 100 students who also worked hard and reached the necessary grades.

“Both staff at Devizes School and the White Horse Federation have gone above and beyond to support Olivia by linking her with nearby colleges who could further her studies.” Olivia made real progress at Devizes School and we wish her every success in the future.”

In a letter to Olivia’s mum the White Horse Federation’ regional director Simon Cowley said: “The school did not appropriately communicate their decision to not enrol your daughter into sixth form.

“In addition I have reviewed the school’s enrolment procedures to provide parents and students with a clear calendar of communication regarding enrolment to sixth form.

“For students who do not get the required grades but intended to enrol into the sixth form they will receive additional communication.

“The school and senior leaders have learnt from your complaint.” was dealt with and how you felt about the notification of your daughter not being able to enrol.”

Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills, said: “We always work closely with families to try to find a suitable solution to help children and young people with additional needs access education that is right for them.

“We don’t comment on individual cases however parents have the right to appeal decisions on transport. If they are not satisfied with the decision on appeal, they can raise their case with the ombudsman.”