Father wins right to sue Marlborough for expulsion

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The Independent Online

A High Court judge yesterday ruled that Russell Gray, 49, who runs a property restoration company in London, could pursue his case against the £21,900-a-year Marlborough College in a trial which could cost the loser more than £100,000 in legal bills.

The Wiltshire school told Mr Gray that his son Rhys, 16, could not return in September for the sixth form because he did not work hard enough and had an "exceptionally poor" disciplinary record. Mr Gray will attempt to challenge the right of private schools to expel pupils, arguing that Rhys should be allowed to remain if he achieves good enough GCSE results and has not committed a serious offence.

At a hearing in Swindon, Judge Charles Wade ruled that Mr Gray's case should proceed next month. Mr Gray appeared at the court to apply for an interim injunction to prevent the expulsion until the matter could be heard before a civil judge. But after discussions between the lawyers from both sides, the application was scrapped and it was decided that all the issues should be aired at a full trial.

Mr Gray admits his son has done some "stupid things" during his three years at the school but says these have been the usual "schoolboy antics" which have not disrupted the education of other students. Most were minor offences such as chewing gum and lateness, he said.

Marlborough's master, Nicholas Sampson, refused to comment. He has submitted a statement to the court detailing Rhys's breaches of school rules.