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A MAN who is suing Bracknell Forest Borough Council over alleged failings in his education at schools in Sandhurst has had his compensation hopes boosted by Appeal Court judges.

David Adams, from Devon, claims his adult life has been blighted by teachers who failed to diagnose and deal with his severe dyslexia when he attended the schools in his youth.

The council hotly disputes his negligence claims and also argued that Mr Adams' case should be struck out as he had left it too late to sue.

However, Appeal Court judges rejected that argument last week so Mr Adams can now pursue his substantial damages claim to a full trial.

Mr Adams, now aged 31, was a pupil at New Scotland Primary School from five until the age

of 11, later attending Sandhurst Comprehensive School where he remained until he was 16.

He claims teachers' failure to grapple with his dyslexia not only wrecked his education

but has left him plagued by feelings of low self-esteem panic attacks, "social phobia", and depression.

But the Appeal Court heard it was not until 1999 when he had a chance encounter with an educational psychologist that he first realised he might have a good case against the local authority.

Although a three-year time limit normally applies in such cases, it was not until 2000 that Mr Adams finally launched his claim against the Bracknell Forest Borough Council.

Edward Faulks QC, representing the local authority, argued the council's case had been

seriously prejudiced by the delay and it would now be

unfair for Mr Adams to pursue his damages claim.

But Lord Justice Tuckey said it was only in 1999 Mr Adams realised his problems might have caused failures in his schooling.

The chance meeting with the educational psychologist was "the first time that he was able to link his reading and writing problems to a recognised condition," he added.

The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Peter Gibson and Lord Keene, said: "I have considerable sympathy with the local authority in facing such a stale claim.

"Teachers can hardly remember Mr Adams, and school records were destroyed when he became 21."

But the judge nevertheless ruled that Mr Adams could continue with his claim.

No date was set for a full hearing of his case.


Charlotte Neal
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