Dyslexic sues for £50,000 over her 'lost education'

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The Independent Online

Sarah Lynock, 27, who comes from Birmingham, has an IQ of more than 120 but has suffered from dyslexia and associated learning difficulties since she was a child.

Sarah Lynock, 27, who comes from Birmingham, has an IQ of more than 120 but has suffered from dyslexia and associated learning difficulties since she was a child.

Ms Lynock claims that teachers failed to recognise her condition. Instead they told her she needed to "put more effort into her class work". But without any help she continued to underachieve and was bullied by classmates.

She lost interest in education and started playing truant. She left school with five GCSEs, the highest at grade D. After taking a number of low-paid jobs she is now working for Tesco.

In 1995 Ms Lynock was finally referred to a teacher for those with special learning difficulties, who diagnosed her dyslexia. In her case, which is to be heard at the High Court, Ms Lynock claims that the teaching staff at her primary and secondary schools ignored her mother's "numerous requests for extra help" and failed to identify her condition.

She is now suing Birmingham City Council for about £50,000 in compensation forallegedly depriving her of a full education and the chance to have a career matching herintelligence.

Ms Lynock's is one of 40 similar cases being handled by the London law firm Coningsbys. Her solicitor, Sharon Lam, said that the House of Lords in another case earlier this year had concluded that the "local authority should not enjoy a blanket immunity so far as the schools and the educational authority are concerned".

She added: "It is plainly foreseeable that failure by a teacher or school staff to properly teach or otherwise provide for a pupil with special educational needs could create educational and psychological suffering to the pupil."