The teacher sacked from Eton over an anti-feminist video could now face a lifetime classroom ban after the school reported him to the teaching auth
The teacher sacked from Eton over an anti-feminist video could now face a lifetime classroom ban after the school reported him to the teaching authority.
Will Knowland, 35, was removed from his role at the prestigious Berkshire school after posting a lecture on Youtube challenging so-called modern feminist views about ‘toxic masculinity’.
The lecture, in which the English teacher quoted an article saying women wanted to be ‘overwhelmed by the sheer power of masculinity’, was prepared for older pupils at the £42,500-a-year school.
But he was sacked after he repeatedly refused requests from the college’s head master Simon Henderson to take the video down.
Now, Eton has referred him to the Teaching Regulation Authority over the issue and he could face a lifetime ban.
Will Knowland was removed from his role at the prestigious Berkshire private school after posting a lecture on Youtube challenging so-called modern feminist views about ‘toxic masculinity’
The lecture, in which the English teacher quoted an article saying women wanted to be ‘overwhelmed by the sheer power of masculinity’, was prepared for older pupils at the £42,500-a-year school (pictured)
Lord Bellingham, a Conservative former minister who chairs a club of 45 Old Etonians who have put plans to give £2 million to the school on hold over the row, blasted the referral as ‘vindicative’.
Bellingham said: ‘He doesn’t want to spend the next year fighting legal action, he just wants his job back.
‘It would appear to me from the calls I’ve taken that there’s a lot of support for him among the staff, parents and pupils.’
However, the school told the Times: ‘Mr Knowland’s dismissal met the criteria which required referral to the Teaching Regulation Agency. The school wrote separately to the TRA explaining that it does not wish him to be barred from teaching. However, this is for the TRA to decide.’
The video, called the Patriarchy paradox, has been viewed more than 100,000 times.
Last month scores of Old Etonians threatened to withhold £2million in funding from the elite school unless Mr Henderson, often referred to as ‘Trendy Hendy,’ resigns.
And Mr Knowland, who last year lost his appeal against his sacking, has claimed he has been backed by Tory ministers – though he refused to say which ones.
Speaking to Times Radio, he also claimed the lecture was a ‘counter argument’ to lessons about ‘toxic masculinity’ at the college.
He said: ‘To help you understand what that orthodox narrative is, the boys are given half-day training sessions by an external organisations called the ‘Good Lad Initiative’ and that has been described by one of its former members as ‘encouraging boys to seem themselves through a prism of toxic masculinity and dysfunction.
‘Now I don’t think it is fair and responsible to encourage boys to see themselves in this way exclusively.
‘I think it’s fair for them to consider the arguments regarding toxic masculinity but they should also be given counter arguments.
‘The aim (of my video) was to provide a counter weight to what they are normally taught on this topics.’
Mr Knowland, a father-of-five, was asked if the lecture was worth losing his job over, prompting him to reply: ‘Controversy is essential to any form of education, it is the clash of ideas that education really depends upon. It’s something if you take away fundamentally leaves education lacking in the most important respect.’
But he was also forced to defend himself over claims in his video that male-on-male rape in prisons outnumbered male-to-female rape outside of jails.
The claims were criticised as incorrect by charities and led some people who initially backed Mr Knowland to pull back their support.
‘I don’t think those figures belittle female rape, it doesn’t belittle rape at all, if anything it draws greater attention to the problem that rape is, whether male on male or male on female rape, is a real issue.’
He had earlier said his sacking put the exclusive school’s ‘soul at risk’.
In December, the school’s governing body upheld the decision to sack Mr Knowland, following an appeal hearing chaired by Princes William and Harry’s ex-housemaster.
Mr Henderson told parents in a letter that Mr Knowland’s sacking was ‘regrettable’ and called on staff to ‘continue positive dialogue between those who hold opposing views’.