Former Eton Staff Member: A Question of “When, Not If” “Dictatorial” Head Must Go
The sacking of Eton English master Will Knowland caused mass-backlash in the press and amongst the right over the weekend, after it was revealed the teacher had been dismissed by headmaster Simon Henderson over a lecture he was due to give that questioned “current radical feminist orthodoxy”. Pupils at the school have already publicly turned against the head, with hundreds of boys signing a petition against the school accusing it of acting in a “heartless and merciless way” in its “gross abuse of the duty of the school to protect the freedoms of the individual”. Guido now learns the head has very little goodwill to draw support from among his teaching colleagues amidst this row…
Speaking to Guido, a former member of staff at Eton – who’s still plugged into the events happening at the elite college – says the move by Simon Henderson is merely “the latest in a long line of disappointing decisions… and Will Knowland – a fantastic teacher – is at least the third exemplary member of the teaching staff Henderson has thrown the book at unnecessarily”. Guido learns:
“Since Henderson’s arrival in 2015 he has managed to alienate his staff, with a huge amount of dissatisfaction expressed at his leadership from masters, boys and parents. Within a very short space of time he lost a lot of goodwill with a dictatorial and high-handed approach, a disregard for collegiality and weak management. Within two years morale was at rock bottom.”
In his half-a-decade at the helm, Simon Henderson has seemingly made it his lonely duty to force Eton to embrace aspects of a contested ideology without respect for the views or wishes of staff, students or parents. On one occasion, journalist Laura Bates was invited to the school to give “training” to staff on radical feminist concepts such as the patriarchy, toxic masculinity and systematic oppression. His leadership has resulted in a “complete breakdown of confidence and trust between Henderson and the masters, with regular talk of when, not if, he would go.”
Simon Henderson is now claiming his decision was based upon clear legal advice that Knowland fell foul of the Equality Act, however Guido understands senior legal minds aren’t convinced the grounds for dismissal were correct and are certainly contentious. It’s now up to Knowland – backed by the Free Speech Union – to prove it…
Will Knowland is publicly fundraising for his legal costs here.