A SCHOOLGIRL with Down's syndrome has been stopped from going to class for over a month because she was diagnosed with diabetes.

Brooke Cormack-Cook, 13, was just nine days into her secondary education before it came to an abrupt halt after testing positive for type 1.

Her mum Brenda was told that 'staffing and transport issues' meant she would have to stay away from class until a solution was found.

It is now four weeks down the line and Brooke is still waiting to find out when she can go back.

Mum Brenda, 51, who went to Greenock High and teaches at the West College Scotland Finnart Street campus, said: "Brooke now thinks she's left school. "She did nine days and left, and now thinks she's now done with high school."

The youngster lives with her mum and brother Brandon, 22, in Skelmorlie, which falls under the remit of North Ayrshire Council's education department.

The family had hoped Brooke, who attends local groups such as Inverclyde Down's Syndrome Support, would be allowed into Craigmarloch in Port Glasgow as it is the closest local authority additional support needs school, somewhere she has visited in the past and it is where many of her friends go.

Instead she was placed in Stanecastle School, Irvine.

Following her diabetes diagnosis, teachers were trained on how to deal with the youngster's needs, including administering medication and what to do in an emergency situation, and everything appeared to be in order.

But her mum was then informed that staff shortages, coupled with the fact the council's insurance no longer covered the school bus contractor for transporting someone with type 1 diabetes, meant Brooke could not be accommodated.

As well as missing four weeks of school, Brenda has been forced to stay off work to look after her daughter.

She did try taking Brooke to school herself and staying nearby in case of a medical emergency but it was not a long-term solution.

Brenda teaches beauty therapy at WCS campuses in Greenock, Clydebank and also has her own salon.

She said: "My work have been very good with me and allowed me time off on compassionate leave but their patience will wear thin.

"I just feel the council have buried their heads in the sand on this.

"We're no further forward."

North Ayrshire Council chiefs say the staffing problem has been addressed and added that they are in the process of sorting out the transport issue.

A spokesperson said: "We are sorry for the delay and are confident the issues will be resolved very soon.

"We have been actively pursuing a trained escort to travel with Brooke and we are close now to finalising this arrangement.

"We will be redeploying someone at the school to help meet Brooke's needs.

"We are all looking forward to welcoming her back to school."