Former Eton teacher calls his sacking a “craven response to a cancel culture”

An English teacher who was sacked by Eton College has blasted the elite private school for caving in to “a cancel culture that threatens it, in the mistaken hope that appeasement is somehow going to make them leave Eton alone.”

Will Knowland, 35, was sacked by the school after nine years of service because he refused to take down an online lecture questioning radical feminism.


He’s now taking legal action against the school, with plans to file a discrimination claim at an employment tribunal while mulling over potential defamation action against head master Simon Henderson – a man dubbed “Trendy Hendy” by critics.

In a new interview with Tom Newton Dunn for The Times, the teacher said: “the reason I felt so strongly about this is I felt that my job was being taken away from me before I was even sacked. Without free speech I don’t think that I have a serious job in education.”


Henderson has drawn backlash from alumni of the school, with threats to withhold millions in funding unless he hands in his resignation.

Former foreign minister and Old Etonian Lord Bellingham said last December: “Through his woeful handling of this issue, the head master’s own credibility and authority, which was already looking very shaky, has taken a very serious blow. He comes out of this looking like a small and mean-minded individual, and as a direct consequence of his actions the school has suffered dreadful publicity and very severe reputational damage. In my own humble judgment the only decent course of action is for him to resign.”

The sacking has become a flashpoint in an ongoing culture war, which sees woke and censorious power-brokers in institutions pitted against free speech libertarians who see freedom of expression being eroded.

A new initiative called Counterweight, whose founder dubbed it “Citizens Advice for the culture wars”, has already been inundated by calls from individuals looking for support as they fight back against institutional wokeness.