Indian Summer School’s out for expelled Brighton teen

Posted On 05 Apr 2018 at 11:33 pm

A Brighton teenager bowed out of one of the world’s leading schools after the head teacher told him: “We’re not a good fit for each other.”

Jake, who was 18 when he took part in the Channel 4 television programme Indian Summer School, was expelled six weeks into the six-month experiment.

The youngster, now 19, had struggled to fit in at the Doon School – described as India’s Eton – and was thrown out for missing classes and breaking the rules.

“It’s just a very different, strange, weird environment,” Jake said.

“I’m not claustrophobic but it’s a prison. I don’t belong here at all. I’m completely out of my depth here.”

As he prepared to fly home, he said: “This was just, like, an opportunity but I’ve wasted it.”

In the first of three episodes, last week, Jake, 18, was filmed pursuing his passion for skateboarding in Brighton before flying out to the boarding school, in northern India.

The aim was to pass some GCSEs, having left school in Brighton without qualifications.

He was one of five white British boys to take part in the three-part documentary, with the second episode aired this evening (Thursday 5 April).

One of the other boys, Jack, also 18, said: “Jake just likes making snide remarks all the time.”

Before taking the decision to expel Jake, Doon’s head teacher Matthew Raggett said: “You’ve got break this cycle.”

And Jake said: “I will try to better myself. I’ve got the problem of speaking before I think.”

He missed his final two years of schooling in Brighton and Hove and said: “I just didn’t like being told what to do and having to be somewhere at a certain time.”

His mum, Jenny, widowed when Jake was just five years old, said that she had found it hard to keep him in line as a child.

She told the cameras: “I’ve never been particularly disciplined with him.”

Mr Raggett praised the “best version” of Jake – warm and charming – but he asked the youngster to leave after a series of problems.

On Twitter earlier Jake said: “Don’t underestimate me. All you’ve seen is the worst of me. They wouldn’t film me studying or doing anything productive and portrayed me as a bad kid.”

He added: “Think again before you watch this documentary as they only put in what they want you to see.”

  1. Karen Hardeman Reply

    Sadly thinking you are clever and acting like you are clever are two different things. What an incredible waste of an opportunity…

  2. Michele Green Reply

    What a disappointment to see Jake behaving this way there are so many young people who would have loved and needed this opportunity. The other boys were trying so hard to fit in and achieve.

  3. Phil Dobson Reply

    That Jake wants to grow up spoiled little boy a brilliant opportunity wasted on him,will be good to see what happens to him in the future. I had been working for thee year at his age he prefers to play on his skate board
    Get a grip Jake

  4. Sue de Nym Reply

    What a shame. My nephew’s father also died when my nephew was very young. The temptation was to be too kind and make things too easy for him. However his mum did the opposite as she knew his dad would want him to do well and be happy. Being happy means being comfortable with rules, and understanding why the rules are necessary. Yes that takes maturity too but he matured quickly because he was helped to grow up.
    Giving Jake freedom in the belief that would make him happy was an error despite it being well meant. You can’t have freedom until you’re mature enough to cope with it. Children need boundaries and it is unfair not to insist on them otherwise as they get older they can’t cope. Jake is now struggling.
    Someone needs to explain to Jake that order for all the things we like to exist, someone has had to follow rules and have self-discipline. The skateboard designer needed to understand balance and the rules of mechanics, the manufacturer had to understand engineering and follow the rules of engineering; the sales team had to work together and understand marketing and follow those rules.
    The irony is that his mum has had to comply to rules in order to keep him, clothe him, feed him and buy him skateboards etc.
    Not all rules are good we know that but experience helps us to differentiate.
    Yes it is good to think outside the box but we all need to learn from those who know more than us. That’s how we progress.
    I have taught children and adults for many years. I was also a failure at school but worked hard to make it up. Jake can too, but if he’s not getting the discpline from anyone else it is now time to apply it himself.
    If he has never earned anything, be it a qualification or money I feel so sorry for him. Nothing is more rewarding.
    Yes we know the film was edited but we all heard how he spoke to the headmaster and saw his body language. No matter what went on before or after it was unforgiveable and he really let himself down.
    His arrogance and attitude when presenting himself to the headmaster and teachers was breathtaking. He must have got away with this behaviour for years otherwise he would never have attempted it here.
    These people have the highest of qualifications, years of experience and were prepared to help him and yet he threw it back in their faces. It was a shame to allow him to make such an idiot of himself on television. I suppose his mum was desperate.
    It’s not all his fault by any means, but now is the time to change and at the age he is, only he can do that.
    Maybe, just maybe, he will see the horrible person we saw, and change to be the person he would really prefer to be.
    Jake you have a hidden charm which you use badly and turn it into arrogance.
    Use it well, be humble, you know very little of the world so learn from others.
    You could be a lovely person to make you mum and dad proud.

  5. brad Reply

    “they only put in what they want you to see.” = correct :: he seems to be able to benefit from much already and more later = mind you, he is not a good advert for Brighton …

  6. JAYKAY23 Reply

    Of course they put on what they want you to see,it makes good viewing.breaking rules on arrival ,hopping off lessons ,speaking to the the headmaster badly, great viewing .
    He is 18 years old ,how long are we expected to wait till he wants to take responsibility for himself,
    The lesson of how to behave have sadly passed him by,you need to learn these from a baby up too late at 18. Its very easy to bring up a child with no rules, just say yes, no agro that is till there 18 andtelling you what to do.
    Amazingly he looked a little shocked when told he was going home,so used to doing as he pleased.
    Jake needs to grow up,mummy letting you do as you like( no matter what the reason) Is no recipe for life in the outside world.
    I brought up 2 boys after there father left,one of them very hard work as you had to be be on the case 24/7.
    You can make excuse for there behaviour when they are young people are more forgiving,not so in the real world,the working environment will not tolerate you turning up when you fancy, that’s if you manage to get a job at all.
    Sadly we all end up paying for children like Jake who won’t be able to get a job,just because he’s never had to follow the rules of life.

  7. K Reply

    Good luck to Jake and his mother- they’ve obviously been through a lot. The response on social media has been harsh, people should know by now about editing to create a narrative on reality shows.. Hope you get to visit the Himalayas again one day Jake, it’s beautiful and awe inspiring, take your mum there, very healing x

  8. Jm Reply

    Jake was the only one who didn’t choose to go, his mother bribed him to go with the offer of a car. I wonder if she bought him a car? I suspect she did, and that’s the problem in a nutshell.

  9. AS Reply

    I watched th first 2 programmes on catch up and at the outset thought Jake showed the most promise. He seemed bright and quite charismatic. What an absolute disappointment it was to see him waste such an amazing opportunity. However, for me, watching as a parent, it was Jake’s mother that really frustrated me. I work in a school myself and all too often I meet parents just like Jake’s mum, blaming this reason or that reason, when all along it is they themselves they should be blaming. It boils down to laziness and lack of self discipline. Maybe if she’d spent a little more time nurturing (not spoiling) Jake and keeping to clear, sensible boundaries, and less time in front of the mirror applying her makeup, she would now have a young man realising his true potential.


    OK let’s blame the parents! That’s what we always do isn’t it? Let’s blame the mother, who has stuck by him and done what she thought was right for his entire life. I disagree completely with everything written above. This is a boy who is very bright and yet immature socially and with his communication. Personally, as one who knows, I suspect he has ADHD and I agree, he would have benefited by having a male role model to keep him in line, but in some cases this isn’t possible. Spirited kids need different parenting to other children, as I have discovered myself. This boy probably enjoys skating because it meets his sensory and high energy needs. Not everyone can fit into a school environment or would want to. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t learn to follow rules, it just means his way of learning is probably more “hands on” rather than the sanitized sausage factories our children are schooled in these days. Forced to socialise with 30 other children and “exercise” in a tiny playground, their sensory and exercise needs are being ignored. Skateboarding is a way for children who have a high need for stimulation, to meet those needs in a social and active way. It is also incredibly skilled and takes a lot of practice and discipline to be able to do some of the things those kids do. Apparently, this boy has no self discipline! Not true! He has plenty of self discipline when it comes to doing what he is passionate about. Most of the commenters above seem to be a product of a very institutionalised society where people are taught that there is only one way to live. There is not. There are many. I disagree. The reason Jake didn’t fit into school is because this is NOT an environment he will ever be choosing in the future as a workplace. It doesn’t meet his needs, the same way UK schools don’t meet the needs of many children (most of them who are either on the Autism spectrum, have anxiety problems or ADHD) SOme of us are not built to sit in offices day in day out. Some of us enjoy being out of doors. In fact, WE NEED TO BE OUT OF DOORS AND WE NEED EXERCISE, LIKE WE NEED FOOD. The problem is not Jake, or his mum. The problem is our school system has lost sight of what is important. Children develop and mature at different rates. Many children who have high energy needs (like myself at his age) simply aren’t able to sit still in a static environment. It has nothing to do with discipline. We learn by being in the real world and on our own terms and with a learning environment that suits our own particular learning style and needs. NOT a classroom, full of noise, full of walls and lacking in any real opportunity to exercise properly to regulate our social behaviour. Jake will be fine. In fact, I suspect Jake will have learnt an awful lot more from this experience than any of us realise. He has seen how harsh the real world is. In my own personal experience of being highly intelligent, also having ADHD and school failure, what Jake needs is not school. He needs to get out in the real world and find his way. GCSEs can done independently AT ANY AGE. Took my own son out of school 1 year ago to Home Educate. His reading level shot up, as has his maths. (These are all theory based) In school, he was “failing” at age 7 and was apparently “behind” by the government’s measurements. I didn’t see it that way. He was bored and he was over-stimulated and none of his sensory needs and need for exercise was being met. When a child has enough exercise, their academic learning seriously improves. The only reason the govt forces kids through GCSEs at the same age, regardless of their maturity or development level, is because it is CHEAP. Jake will now be in a position to think about exactly what HE wants and he will find his own motivation to do whatever exams he needs to do in order to qualify. My advice would be to go out and work and when you find what you want, educate yourself on what you need to do to get there, then do it. School exam results are NOT a measure of any kind of success nowadays, employers like people who think differently / creatively. We have computers to do the mind-numbing stuff now. Academic success is over rated at any age. Now when kids leaving Unviversity go for job interviews, they are being asked “Yes, but what EXPERIENCE do you have?” Leave Jake alone. He hasn’t wasted this “opportunity”. It will probably have been the biggest learning experience he needed. It is also an example of why bribing your kids to do things never works. Motivation is what works and this is something a parent can’t go out and purchase!

  11. Longcomment Reply

    “He was articulate, capable of charm and appeared to enjoy sculpting with clay as much as he enjoys skating.” I agree. He seemed to be bright – he wrote quickly and he was artistic even in his doodles. And cheerful and handsome.

    With those talents he should be able to succeed. But he was spending his time instead breaking the rules and fighting the system and generally being a smart-arse, as if that was going to get him anywhere. The person he was most harming of course was himself.

    Like other posters, I would put a lot of the blame on those around him. He has ended up with this attitude because he hasn’t been taught the value of
    discipline and thus had no self-discipline.

    How to improve from here?

    Well, I expect something will have rubbed off from Doon School even if he was expelled (and wasn’t he shocked when told that he had blown it!)

    But mainly the remedy lies with himself, but with lots of guidance. He needs to understand that he has to learn the basics if he is to succeed in using his talents. So, how can he be eg a designer if he can’t hack even the basic maths? Or a writer if he has limited vocabulary and grammar? Or whatever else he wants to do that require a decent education (of which he is fully capable)? Sure, learning basics is often boring (especially if you are learning at 18 what you should have learnt at 10). We all get that. He needs to practise patience and boredom as skills in themselves. After all, he must have spent hours learning his skateboard skills hour after hour. And also learn that there is merit in jumping through the hoops, such as turning up in class, even when you don’t like it or are bored, because as you sit there you will likely find something that interests you, which you wouldn’t have learnt if you had not been there. (We saw that, when he skived off some of the outside excursions, which he would have found fascinating.)

    This is a debate he needs to have with himself, a deal he needs to strike with himself. Nobody else is affected much if he wastes his talents and behaves like a smart-arse village idiot. But the rest of us would actually like to see quite a talented young man make the most of his talents. Does he really want to watch while other less talented people overtake him? Does he really feel he is only good enough to skive in the park for the rest of his life? Surely he has more self-esteem than that.

    We would all be happy to help him – just as Doon School masters were – but the deal he needs to strike is with himself first, himself wasting his time now versus himself as a successful adult.

    Many of the comments here are supportive of the boy: I would hope someone could show them to him.

  12. Adam rushworth Reply

    I think jake is beautiful, i was worse than him at school, hes 19 years old and no one commenting is perfect, we were all little brats at school, anyone who says they werent are likes, gorgeous lad hope he does well in life good luck jake 😍

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