Cawston boy battles cold to maintain perfect attendance record in final week at Reepham High

He has battled through illness, exams and bad weather to attend school every day for 11 years, but now a dedicated student is determined a cold will not blot his perfect record in his final week.

To say that Brett Chamberlain is one in a thousand is an understatement after he became 1,200-strong Reepham High school's first pupil for nine years to achieve perfect attendance during his five-year stay.

The previous student was James Noble, who returned to give Brett a special certificate on Tuesday, but even he admitted missing the odd day when he was at primary school.

Not so Brett, who put his remarkable record down to good health, commitment and an increasing determination to maintain his clean sheet despite the occasional temptation to pull a sickie.

He said: 'Sometimes I think I don't feel so well but then I go outside and I feel better. Because I have had it for the whole of primary school it's made me want to do the same for high school and achieve that 100pc attendance.

'There have been some points where I have had a cold and I have thought it I really should not go into school, but it's being more motivated, and my mum says I have got to get to school and just pushes me out of the door.

'In year nine I had a really bad headache for most of the day and it was properly hurting, but I just struggled through it just to stay in for the 100pc, just wanting to achieve it.'

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His mother Paula Potter said he was lucky to contract childhood illnesses like chicken pox during school holidays, but his determination to attend classes set him apart from other students.

She said: 'My daughter was always very dedicated, whereas my older son was not into school at all. He was completely different. Brett has seen both of their different ways and has been one to get on with work as best he can.'

His form tutor Angela Gibbs described him as a 'lovely lad' who she never had a cross word with.

'He is particularly civil and he had come to school to work. He does not think it's a youth club. He knows it's a school and he is a reserved chap, but he is proud of his attendance', she said.

Brett received a fishing book to mark his prefect attendance at Cawston primary school, but the high school gave him a �50 voucher in additional to the framed certificate.

Vice principal Tim Gibbs used him as an inspiring example at a special assembly for year seven and eight pupils, and told them good attendance would make them stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.

Brett hopes to start an electrician's apprenticeship after his exams, but first has to overcome one last challenge before he leaves school on study leave on Friday May 25.

He said: 'I have got a bit of a cold now, but I think I can do it. I would come in whatever.'

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