Ryan blows "Second Chance"

Former Putney Schoolboy expelled from TV test school

Ryan Bell, 16, had originally been a student at Putney's ADT College but following his expulsion from there he was moved to a public school in Somerset as part of a social experiment and has been expelled.

Ryan joined Downside School, one of the top Roman Catholic boarding schools in the UK, two years ago with Channel 4 paying the £15,000 annual fees. In return they had access to follow Ryan's progress through the school.

The school statement said that Ryan and six other students bought and drank alcohol over the bank holiday. It was his third incident at he school which resulted in him ending up in he Royal United Hospital in Bath with alcohol poisoning - where he was kept in overnight. The six other students have all been suspended but Ryan was expelled as it was his third offence.

Leo Maidlow Davis, Headmaster at Downside said: "In spite of this sad event, Downside believes that Ryan is an able and gifted young person who has developed during almost two years at the school. Downside hopes to be able to assist Ryan as he looks for a way forward in his life."

Ryan recently appeared in a Channel 4 documentary of his life at the school, where he showed a particular aptitude for Latin and sports.

A spokeswoman said: "We are very disappointed for Ryan but at the same time feel he's made tremendous strides in his past two years at Downside........What has happened in no way lessens our commitment to support Ryan and his family in whatever they decide the next step should be."

8th May 2003

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