The battle for Eton’s soul

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Will Knowland is a member of the Free Speech Union and I share his view that the purpose of a good education is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to make up their own minds about important issues, not to spoon-feed them ‘correct’ opinions. As he wrote in his letter, if we prioritise emotional safety over intellectual challenge and censor any views that might make students or teachers feel uncomfortable, we will sacrifice one of the most valuable things about education, which is introducing children to new worlds, expanding their horizons and helping them transcend the narrow confines of their everyday lives. It should not be about affirming children’s sense of identity as members of various ethnic and religious groups, and forcing them to tread on eggshells lest they offend someone with a ‘protected’ characteristic.

Toby Young, The Spectator, 5th December 2020.