Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 15:55 UK

Public school 'interest' in Daley

Tom Daley
Tom Daley was on the British team at the Beijing Olympics

A headmaster of an independent Plymouth school has told BBC News that it was "very interested" in taking on teenage diving star Tom Daley.

Plymouth College is in talks about giving a place to Olympic diver Tom Daley amid claims of bullying at his school, Eggbuckland Community College.

Plymouth College - which prides itself on its swimming programme - confirmed it had talked to Tom's father.

Eggbuckland said that its policy was to deal firmly with bullying.

We are well set up to meet Tom's needs
Dr Simon Wormleighton

Plymouth College headmaster Dr Simon Wormleighton said: "Nothing has been agreed at the moment, but we would be very interested.

"The school would be well suited to him."

He said that the school, which has a number of national swimming awards, was regarded as one of the best in the country for swimming.

Tom, 14, from Plymouth, was on the British team at the Beijing games and earlier this week won silver at the World Series in Sheffield.

Mr Wormleighton said that the school had a long record of taking in elite sports pupils.

"We are well set up to meet Tom's needs.

"We have a tradition of a flexible academic programme for international athletes."

It's not high-level bullying, just name calling, someone chucking a bit of paper at you
Tom Daley

His father Rob said: "We have had discussions with Plymouth College, but they are at their initial stages.

"Every parent has a responsibility to make sure that their children have the best."

Tom said this week that the bullying was not "high-level" but "everyone in the school" was doing it.

Tom said: "It's not getting to me, as in the words are upsetting me, it's just the fact that I can't have a normal school life like everybody else.

"It's not high-level bullying, just name calling, someone chucking a bit of paper at you, tipping your pencil case out.

"After the Olympics it went mad... everyone that you walk past has a little dig at you."

He said he had not been back to school since before the Easter holidays and had considered changing schools.

Katrina Borowski, principal of Eggbuckland Community College, said: "Tom's extremely high profile has led to a minority of students acting in an immature way towards him.

"All involved in his education are supporting him as best we can and immediate action was taken to address concerns raised."



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