Exclusive: Toby Young resigns as director of free school trust he founded

Toby Young resigns as director of the MAT that runs the West London Free School

Will Hazell

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Toby Young has stepped down as a director of the multi-academy trust that runs the West London Free School he founded.

A note posted on Companies House today announced the "termination" of his appointment as a director of the Knowledge Schools Trust – which runs four schools and plans to set up another.

Mr Young confirmed to Tes that he had resigned as a trustee of the MAT at a board meeting this Tuesday, but declined to go into his reasons for doing so. He told Tes the decision had been "entirely voluntary".

The news follows last week's announcement that Mr Young had resigned as director of the New Schools Network, the charity that supports groups wishing to set up free schools. The trustees of the NSN said Mr Young's decision to step had been taken because he had 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."

Mr Young became the focus of controversy earlier this year because of his short-lived appointment as a board member on the Office for Students – the government's new universities regulator.

The appointment was criticised when it came to light that he had written articles praising "progressive eugenics" and mocking the inclusivity agenda, as well as posting crude comments on social media, including about women's breasts. Mr Young was forced to stand down from the OfS nine days after his appointment was announced. 

Mr Young founded the West London Free School in 2011. It was the first free school to sign a funding agreement with the Department for Education.

Mr Young confirmed to Tes that he remains a trustee of the Knowledge Schools Foundation Trust – a fundraising arm that he said was not formally connected to Knowledge Schools Trust and receives no public money.

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Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

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