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Toby Young quits New Schools Network and blames media pressure

Toby Young quits New Schools Network and blames media pressure
2 min read

Toby Young has stepped down as the head of a charity supporting free schools, blaming a media storm earlier this year around controversial comments he tweeted.

The Spectator journalist came under fire after lurid comments he made about women, eugenics and working class people resurfaced when he was appointed to the new board of universities watchdog.

Despite the endorsement of Boris Johnson, who said he was “the ideal man for the job”, Mr Young was forced to step down from the Office for Students in January.

Now he has resipgned from the New Schools Network after the Guardian revealed the Government’s reluctance to renew a £90,000 grant while Mr Young remained at the helm.

In a statement on their website, the New Schools Network said: “The trustees of New Schools Network announced that Toby Young has resigned. Toby has concluded that the media attention his continuing presence at the helm of NSN is attracting has become a distraction from the vital work it is doing and, for that reason, he has decided to step down.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Education refused to be drawn into the row and said: “The role of director is entirely a matter for New Schools Network’s trustees.”

However, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education Layla Moran was highly critical of Mr Young’s performance.

In the light of the blatant cronyism we saw over Toby Young’s appointment to the board of the Office for Students, it was clear any money linked to the NSN needed to be properly scrutinised. I’m glad he has recognised his position has become toxic to the organisation.”

Mr Young co-founded the West London Free School in 2011, claiming to offer students a classically liberal education.

The school was judged “good” by Ofsted at its last inspection in 2017.

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