Star musicians were “forced out of top school” after one of them was diagnosed with cancer.


Star musicians were “forced out of top school” after one of them developed cancer.

Two of Britain’s top string players are suing a top music school, alleging that it planned to fire them as teachers after one of them was diagnosed with cancer.

Matthew Souter and his wife Karin Leishman are suing Wells Cathedral School for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal.

They claim Mark Stringer, the school’s former director of music, waged a “campaign” against them.

Ms Leishman claims she was discriminated against when she returned to her violin tutor job after an 11-month absence due to cancer in a joint lawsuit against him and the school.

She claims she was barred from returning to full-time teaching duties and that she was subjected to accusations about her “capability.”

She also claims that messages revealed by the school show a plan to get rid of her and her husband, according to a hearing at the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Mr. Souter, the former head of strings, claims he was the target of a “long-running campaign.”

After a bereavement, he claims he was “forced” to take compassionate leave and then placed on an “informal capability program” as a result of “alleged student complaints.”

The school attempted to have the case dismissed, but a full tribunal hearing is now expected.

According to one online article, Mr. Souter has led viola sections in “Britain’s most celebrated orchestras.”

“One of Britain’s leading violinists,” according to Ms. Leishman.

They both left the Somerset school in 2019, and Mr Stringer left the previous year.

The school has chosen to remain silent on the matter.

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