Father sues private school after son fails all but one of his GCSEs

Scott Craddock says Abbotsholme independent boarding school does not offer 'value for money in any way, shape or form'

Rachael Pells@rachaelpells
Wednesday 17 August 2016 15:31
Abbotsholme School is a coeducational independent boarding and day school near Rocester in Staffordshire
Abbotsholme School is a coeducational independent boarding and day school near Rocester in Staffordshire

A father from Staffordshire is suing a £28,000-per-year private school after his son left with just one pass at GCSE.

Scott Craddock, 57, has served papers to Abbotsholme School in Rocester after complaining that he did not get his money’s worth by sending his son David to the school.

He claims his son – who left with one C grade in science last year – would have been better off going to a local state comprehensive.

Mr Craddock, who worked as a truck driver in the Middle East to pay for David’s £125,000 education, pointed out that GCSE and A-Level results had gone down across the board last year, suggesting his son was not the only one to leave with poor grades.

He told the Uttoxeter Advertiser: “I paid £28,000 a year for five years for David to go to Abbotsholme.

”David was disheartened when he got his results. He said 'you spent all that money on my education and I walk away with one GCSE'. I sent David to Abbotsholme but in my opinion the school is not value for money in any way, shape or form.“

Mr Craddock, who is retired, said he was asked not to attend the school’s summer gathering, but did so in order to serve legal papers to headmaster Steve Fairclough and the chairman of the school governors in the middle of the speeches.

”The money I spent could have paid for a house for him when he turns 18,” he said. “I will be taking legal action to try and get this money reimbursed.“

His 17-year-old son is now studying arboriculture and horticulture at a college in Cheshire and has passed the second part of his diploma with merit.

He is also re-sitting his Science and Maths GCSEs.

Mr Craddock said the standard of education at the college seemed “much better”.

'”The only thing he came away from Abbotsholme with differently is that his best friend is the son of a Russian oligarch,” he said. “Otherwise he might as well have gone the local comp.”

Abbotsholme School headmaster Mr Fairclough admitted that last year's results were “not as good” as previous years.

He added: “I am unable to comment on any contact or dealings that Abbotsholme School has with Mr Craddock for legal reasons.

“The school has followed our published complaints procedure to the letter and Mr Craddock has had every chance to present his case in the appropriate manner.

“In regard to last year's results, we recognised at the time that our results were not as good as in previous years, and have taken a number of steps this year - and for future years - to reverse this situation.

“In doing so, we are now on course to receive excellent results this year due to the hard work of all the teaching staff.”

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