Union calls for Toby Young's removal from charity post

The National Education Union says Young, who quit the board of the Office for Students earlier this week after sexist comments made on Twitter came to light, should resign as director of the Free Schools Network

Toby Young (photograph: Shutterstock)
Toby Young (photograph: Shutterstock)

The National Education Union has called for Toby Young, director of the free schools charity the New Schools Network, to resign from his position at the charity in light of "sexist and misogynistic" comments he made on Twitter.

Young, who is also the co-founder of the West London Free School, the first free school to get a government funding agreement, quit as a member of the board for the higher education regulator the Office for Students earlier this week after comments he had previously made on social media about prominent women and politics were highlighted.

In an article for The Spectator this week, Young apologised "unreservedly" for the "ill-judged or just plain wrong" comments and said he was leaving his role at the Office for Students because his appointment had "become a distraction", despite having being defended by the Prime Minister.

But Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, which was formed last year through the merger of the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, questioned Young’s continued employment at the New Schools Network.

She said: "Toby Young’s appalling sexist and misogynistic comments, and his complete disdain for anyone who dares to challenge them, makes the Prime Minister’s defence of his appointment completely baffling to so many people who were rightly appalled and offended by his views.

"Toby Young remains, however, director of the New Schools Network, a charity that has received millions of pounds of government funding. Now that Young’s repugnant statements are public knowledge, questions must be raised about his continuing employment in this role."

The New Schools Network did not respond to a request for comment before publication.

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