Milton Keynes schoolboy with autism is congratulated by Boris Johnson on his 'show of strength' after campaigning for better education

A boy who wrote to the prime minister to ask that schoolchildren be given an extra year has been praised for his determination.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 4:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 4:44 pm

Kale Harris-Herbert, 10, asked Boris Johnson to allow all schoolchildren to repeat their current school year so they can re-learn the subjects and take the exams and tests they missed during lockdown.

He even re-wrote the words to the famous Pink Floyd song Another Brick in the Wall as part of his campaign, which he calls No Walls21.

"Although I am young with a disability, I do have a proposal and a way forward for the Prime Minister and the government if they are willing to listen," he said in his letter to the Prime Minister.

Kale with his letter from 10 Downing Street

This week he received a reply from 10 Downing Street.

It stated: "You should have no shame in admitting you have struggled - indeed it is a great show of strength, I admire your determination to represent your peers on this important matter".

The letter went on to say: "The government is well aware of the impact that the pandemic has had upon school pupils and is working on ways to rectify this. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing what your campaign achieves."

Kale had quoted a survey by education publication TES (Times Educational Supplement), which found that three quarters of British teachers feel their students are lagging behind previous year groups.

Kale (left) with sister Indiana, 6, and 11-year-old brother Johnson

He fears it will take a year for children to catch up from the impact of Covid school closures and says online learning has had a 'huge impact' on the education of millions of pupils.

The youngster, who lives in Wavendon, has Asperger's Syndrome, which is a high-functioning form of autism. This can cause social difficulties and Kale struggles to make friends.

He formed a band called Stencil Pencils with his siblings Indiana and Johnson during the first lockdown last year. The band was an instant success and they went on to win a talent contest on CITV show Scrambled! Their first single, called Quarantine/Covid19 and written as part of homework project, is available to download on Spotify, Deezer and itunes.

Kale has been hailed an inspiration to all youngsters on the autistic spectrum by Anna Kennedy Online, a charity that raises awareness of autism.

A spokesman for the charity said: "Kale Harris-Herbert suffers life really hard as he has Asperger’s. He has no friends and finds it extremely difficult to make any friends within his peer group. He is a grand advocate for overcoming his disabilities."