Marlborough boy will not seek reinstatement

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The Independent Online

Russell Gray, 49, who owns a London property restoration company, is still pursuing the main burden of his case - that Marlborough College, in Wiltshire, acted unlawfully by breaching its own contract with parents by expelling his 16-year-old son.

Rhys Gray was expelled this summer after totting up an "exceptionally poor" disciplinary record. Marlborough's master, Nicholas Sampson, ruled he was "unwilling or unable to profit from the educational opportunities offered". Rhys achieved four As, three Bs and two C grades at GCSE and had hoped to return to Marlborough to study A-levels in maths, physics and chemistry.

Richard McManus QC, counsel for Mr Gray, yesterday told Southampton County Court the school had soured any prospect of Rhys returning to Marlborough and accused it of attempting to "interfere with natural justice".

The previous day the school released a witness statement from Mr Sampson, which had been lodged with the court, claiming the school had also recorded "frequent instances of Rhys bullying other pupils, exposing himself, swearing and disrupting classes".

The family dispute these claims and Mr McManus told the court: "My concern is that it [Mr Sampson's statement] contains some highly prejudicial material that was never put to Mr Gray or Rhys. The effect of this is that I am no longer going to be seeking an injunction [to order Rhys' reinstatement]. The college has destroyed the relationship of trust and confidence between the parties."

Speaking outside court, Mr Gray said the reinstatement attempt had been withdrawn "because it has become apparent from the way the school have conducted themselves that it is no longer tenable to suggest that the working relationship could be restored."

Earlier, Dr Niall Hamilton, Rhys' housemaster, said that Rhys had "a general disrespect for authority which goes far beyong the usual teenage tendency to test boundaries."

Deputy circuit judge Anthony Thompson will give his ruling on the case today.

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