In an irony not lost on observers of goings-on at the West London Free School (WLFS), domain of the loathsome Toby Young, the Daily Mail proclaimed in October 2012 “Compulsory Latin, suspension for a skinhead haircut and prizes for coming first! It's not Eton or Harrow, but it may just be the strictest state school in Britain”. If only that strictness extended to its misbehaving teachers.
Game's up Tobes - it's time to go
As I noted yesterday, there appears to have been significant misuse of taxpayers’ money at WLFS, both via the creative enterprise that was the hockey academy – the rewards from which did not accrue to the school – and the direct use of funds for the purposes of staff “bonding”, for which read the sports department and hangers-on drinking themselves into an advanced state of alcoholic derangement.
Now, I have no problem with teachers, or anyone else, letting off a bit of steam of a weekend, and suspect most parents would sympathise, but having the public stump up the dosh for it is bang out of order, especially when, as I’ve been informed, Jeremy Willes, whom Tobes called “our excellent site manager”, has had to scrounge for wood in skips as a result.
Willes, who is still on the staff list for WLFS, has now left its employ – hence the advert for a replacement. He had been told there was no money to buy wood for repairs, but, in a move that just about sums up Tobes’ empire, enough was found for him to buy a box of screws, to screw together stuff that officially doesn’t exist, as it had to be scrounged. And yes, he got royally screwed.
At least Willes left with his reputation unsullied, unlike the perpetrators of the hockey academy. Or rather, had proper disciplinary procedure been followed, they would have had their cards marked, but, thanks to the miracle of Tobes’ whitewash, they will not. I’m told that Sam Naismith was even given the opportunity for a tearful farewell assembly before his final exit.
Naismith, and, it appears, his pals Druce and Smedley, have not, as far as is known, been subjected to any disciplinary hearing or procedure. No investigation into the potential misuse of public funds appears to have taken place. The Police have not been called in. All are free to apply for teaching posts elsewhere, and the less well informed among the profession may not find out what they had been up to.
Had WLFS been a local authority school – well, the misuse of funds would not have happened, for starters. But proper procedure would have been followed and the miscreants’ cards duly marked. Here, Tobes has conveniently dispensed with such inconveniences to give himself a rather easier life. I concluded yesterday that it was time for him to resign, or be caused to resign.
The WLFS now has no alternative: Toby Young must go, and go very soon.