A DISABLED mum who pleaded for a college to show her carer daughter leniency is delighted she has been allowed to continue her studies.

Karen Smurthwaite, who suffers from debilitating osteoarthritis and cerebral palsy, was devastated that her daughter Zoe was facing being kicked off her Redcar and Cleveland College course over her attendance.

Mrs Smurthwaite admitted that Zoe sometimes missed classes but said her good grades had led to several university offers.

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She said that she sometimes missed lessons due to helping to care for her, and more recently for her grandmother who was very poorly.

Now Mrs Smurthwaite is delighted that following a meeting with senior college staff, it has been agreed that Zoe can continue her studies at Redcar.

Mrs Smurthwaite said that the meeting was very productive and led to college officials offering to do whatever necessary to support Zoe in her studies.

She said: “Zoe has kept her place and they are allowing her to start at 10am and basically said that they would do anything at all to keep her going.”

Zoe has received offers to study at universities including Newcastle and DeMontfort but is intending to accept an offer from Northumbria to study psychology and criminology.

That offer is dependant of her achieving set grades which would have been impossible had she been prevented from continuing her course.

Alys Tregear, the college's operations director - Student Support, said: “We are committed to supporting our learners at Redcar and Cleveland College, and as such, we are pleased to have come to a positive outcome regarding Mrs Smurthwaite’s daughter.

“Following a meeting at the college last week, a revised attendance plan has been agreed to support the student through the remainder of her studies.

"We hope this will enable the student to achieve her goals and move on to university, and we wish her every success.”

Mrs Smurthwaite is no stranger to fighting the authorities, having previously appeared in The Northern Echo over a battle to get a stairlift installed in her home.

She was initially told by council workers that she should sleep in the lounge with a commode next to the bed, but the authority has since installed a stairlift.