IDENTICAL twin sisters with autism and anxiety are being split up at school despite the desperate pleas of their mum.

Amanda McHugh's daughters Lilly and Tilly, now five years old, weighed less than a bag of sugar when they were born prematurely at 24 weeks and have relied on one another for support since joining East Wichel Primary School.

But they will find themselves in separate classes from September, with the school saying it is acting in the twins' best interests with its allocations for the new term.

Amanda said: “I wanted them both to stay in mainstream school so that they could both stay together.

“The school has said it wants to separate the girls.

“Lilly relies on Tilly because Lilly is the one with slight autism and severe anxiety.

“I’ve addressed this with the school but they have said they’re going to split them up no matter what.

“Lilly started crying every time she was coming out of school and she’s been waking up at night crying and wetting the bed because she doesn’t want to leave her sister.

“The doctor said they’ll give me a letter to say the children should be kept together because of their disabilities.

“I don’t think they should be split yet. I can understand what the school is saying by wanting to have them have their own independence but I don’t think at this moment in time that should happen.

“I told the head I had a doctor’s letter but the decision is final. They will be separated’.

“A couple of years down the line we’ll be willing to give it a go, but right now they’re not ready.

“I’d just like them to take into consideration the disabilities that my children have.”

East Wichel School issued a statement which read: “The allocation of pupils to any class is a decision made by the highly experienced professionals.

“We think about a variety of factors when making these decisions and we believe that this is in the very best interest of the twins.

“Being in separate classes will enable them to develop as individuals; to learn well; to establish their own friendships and to grow in confidence.

“These classes have shared outdoor and indoor spaces and all of the children are together at break times, lunchtimes and assemblies.”