A TEENAGER undergoing treatment for rare bone cancer has been ‘attending’ school using pioneering robot technology.

Adam Bennett, 13, has been sending his robot double into classes at Wood Green School in Witney, in what is thought to be a UK-first project led by the Oxfordshire Hospital School.

The clever piece of kit is effectively an iPad attached to a pole on wheels, which Adam can sign into remotely and control.

People around the robot can see and hear a live video stream of Adam, and vice versa, meaning he can sit in on classes, chat to friends and wheel around the school with them during breaks.

Adam, who lives with his parents and 11-year-old sister Leila in Madley Park, Witney, said: “When you’re in and out of hospital it definitely can get quite frustrating.

“I feel really privileged to be chosen and be the first person using it [in a UK school] - it’s helped me to get my education back.”

Last year he felt pain in his leg and assumed it was just a sports injury, but in December he was shocked to be diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare tumour.

Since then the schoolboy has received chemotherapy and is currently on a course of radiotherapy, so spends much of his time at hospital or recovering at home.

Adam’s mum Samantha Bennett said: “He’s really excited about [the robot] and it’s really nice for him to have this memory at such a horrible time in his life.

“One of the biggest things for kids in his situation with a long break from school is the thought of going back having missed all that work - it can be terrifying.

“He said himself it’s almost like he’s actually there, it’s the next-best thing and he can engage with his friends on a social level.”

Adam's friend Isaac has become his 'robot buddy', and helps the gadget to get up and down stairs and through doors.

Mrs Bennett is now campaigning to roll out the technology across the country, and said it has potential to break down a range of barriers stopping pupils from physically attending school.

She wants to raise £15,000 to fund more of the robots and has set up ‘Robots in Schools’ pages on Twitter and Facebook.

Adam's 'telepresence robot' is one of two funded by Oxfordshire Hospital School (OHS), which supports youngsters whose education has been derailed by poor health.

The school, which was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted last year, has classrooms at Oxford Children's Hospital and several other in-patient settings, and also provides outreach teaching.

Its assistant headteacher James Shryane said: "Recreating the school environment and social interactions, which are so vital in a young person’s life, is much more difficult in hospital or at home.

“We read about how the robots are helping pupils in the US to reconnect with their studies and friends, and immediately saw how the technology could work here.

“This pioneering work is truly game-changing, and we are exceptionally proud of Adam."

Wood Green School’s headteacher Rob Shadbolt said: “Everyone here has been so keen to be part of this innovation - students in particular are very eager to take responsibility for the robot and to make sure it works well for Adam.

“They are loving having him back in class with them."

OHS will soon match the second robot with another local pupil, this time at a primary school.