Chorister who sang for the Queen sues public school for £650,000 over failed career

A chorister who once sang for the Queen is suing a leading public school for £650,000, claiming its failure to help in his battle with epilepsy threw his career off course. 

Rhys Brown, 23, right, joined £35,000-a-year Lancing College as a music scholarship pupil aged 13 and was diagnosed in his first year. 

He claims he was destined for success, but that the school failed to make “reasonable adjustments” for his condition, wrecking his chances of a university education and a dazzling music career. 

Ghazan Mahmood, for Mr Brown, told Central London county court that he was in the choir at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle and had sung a solo for the Queen before winning the scholarship to the West Sussex school. “He had already achieved various musical accolades and was recognised as a highly talented individual with a potentially promising career ahead of him,” he said. 

He said the diagnosis in 2008 threw Mr Brown off course and that “adjustments were not made”, forcing him to leave when he was 14. He transferred to Charterhouse school in Surrey, but had to repeat a year and left at 17 with no qualifications. 

“As a result of Lancing College’s unlawful actions, he has suffered considerable loss,” said Mr Mahmood. “He says his career trajectory would have been entirely different if he had been allowed to remain at the school.” 

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Mr Brown’s case was heard in 2009 by a special educational needs tribunal which found that the school had “unlawfully discriminated against him by failing to make the adjustments which should have been made”.

Robert Lazarus, for the school, said Mr Brown, from Warwick, had been able to progress from Lancing to Charterhouse and added: “We say we’re not responsible for what happened.”

Judge Murray Rosen QC heard a pre-trial argument yesterday. A full hearing will take place later.

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