kofi mason-sesay
Sierra Leone boy banned from attending St Simon's Catholic Primary School in StockportFacebook

A boy from Sierra Leone has been banned from attending a school in Manchester over fears he may have Ebola.

Kofi Mason-Sesay was due to join St Simon's Catholic Primary School in Stockport, Greater Manchester, on an annual placement but parents claimed their children could catch the deadly virus, despite Public Health England saying he posed no risk, so the initiative was cancelled.

His mother Miriam, who works as a country director of Educaid, an education charity based in Sierra Leone, travels to the UK twice a year to raise funds. She has been based in Sierra Leone for 14 years.

Kofi attends the Manchester school when they visit the country so he does not miss out on his education.

"It's heartbreaking. Unfortunately there was so much pressure from an ignorant parent body that the school had to act," Miriam told Manchester Evening News.

"The reality is it's a difficult disease to catch and much of its spread in Africa is to do with traditional burial practices when sufferers have died.

"We are desperately trying to raise funds so we can take care of kids who have been affected by this and other diseases such as malaria.

"We've been met with leper-type attitudes from wealthy people over-reacting and trying to protect themselves from a threat which isn't there."

"If you've got the lergy then you've got the lergy, haven't you? It's complete nonsense."

Public Health England gave herself and Kofi the all-clear when they arrived in the UK - designating them to a category 1 rating, which means they were given unrestricted movement while in the country.

"You can't be lower risk," she said. "Even if I were a health worker with this level of risk I could carry on practicing."

Elizabeth Inman, the headteacher at St Simon's Catholic Primary School, told parents in a newsletter about the school's decision to cancel his visit after being pressured from a parent body.

She said: "It is with deep regret that the school's governing body has taken the decision to cancel the charity's visit.

"It is unfortunate that some misplaced anxiety and misinformation about Ebola among a small group of parents has been circulated among the wider parent body.

"The school has sought, and received, assurances from the relevant health agencies that the visit would pose no risk to health. Despite these assurances, this has not alleviated the concerns of the group.

"The school will continue to support Educaid by encouraging all parents to give what they can."

Sierra leone boy banned from attending school
Kofi Mason-Sesay was banned from a school over fears he has EbolaFacebook