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Entrepreneur Offers Expelled Prankster Second Chance

Article date: Wed, 28 May 2014 11:51 GMT

Jacob Dowdle

Entrepreneur Lawrence Jones has offered custard-pie prankster Jacob Dowdle a job at hosting and colocation firm UKFast in a bid to help the teen turn his future around.

Jones, CEO of the Manchester-based tech firm, believes expelling Jacob for the practical joke he played on a teacher at his Manchester school during an official prank day was too harsh.

He said: "We talk about the pressure on A-Level students getting the right grades and getting places at uni, and we forget about the pressure in the run up to the exams when their entire school life hangs in the balance.

"To punish a child so severely at a moment like this is unforgivable, especially to do it in a way that will damage his future prospects. The entire senior management team at that school should be under scrutiny for the irreparable damage they have done to this young man and his family.

"I have stepped in as I know how much this will have hurt not only Jacob, but his Mum and Dad too. There is a huge pressure on families these days and the school has just run roughshod through a very sensitive area. The fact that they are labelling this as a 'planned assault' is potentially libellous as Jacob hasn't been found guilty or formally charged.

"Educate doesn't just mean pass exams, it also means helping teach right from wrong and standing by students on the complex journey of adulthood."

Jacob was expelled from Altrincham Grammar School for Boys and interviewed by the police after throwing a custard pie in a teacher's face during the end of term traditional 'Mess Up Day'.

Jacob said: "I apologised for the prank, it was meant to be harmless fun and I feel that the punishment is really disproportionate. I'm devastated that it has come to this and have launched an appeal with the school to try to ease the pressure this is putting on my Mum and Dad.

"I am grateful to Lawrence for stepping in and giving me a chance when everyone else has given up on me. I am looking forward to paying back the belief that he has already shown in me. It's taught me that there are nice people in the world and how lucky I am to have an amazing Mum and Dad."

Jacob will start his role at the hosting specialist in July after completing his A-Level exams, which the school has allowed him to complete - potentially at an external examiners.

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