Toby Young attacks “ghastly” need for wheelchair ramps in schools

Toby Young: "If Gove is serious about wanting to bring back O-levels, the government will have to repeal the Equalities Act."

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The Sun columnist Toby Young has slammed the use of wheelchair ramps in schools in his latest Spectator column, as well as saying the government will need to ‘repeal the Equalities Act’ if they want to enforce plans to bring back O-level style exams.

Toby-YoungYoung said:

Telling a child of 14 that he or she isn’t bright enough to do O-levels would be an irreparable blow to their self-esteem.

Much better to have a unitary system in which all children do the same exams, even if that means they have to be quite easy in order to be fully ‘inclusive’.

Inclusive. It’s one of those ghastly, politically correct words that have survived the demise of New Labour.

Schools have got to be ‘inclusive’ these days. That means wheelchair ramps, the complete works of Alice Walker in the school library (though no Mark Twain) and a Special Educational Needs Department that can cope with everything from dyslexia to Münchausen syndrome by proxy.

He went on to say:

If Gove is serious about wanting to bring back O-levels, the government will have to repeal the Equalities Act because any exam that isn’t ‘accessible’ to a functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six will be judged to be ‘elitist’ and therefore forbidden by Harman’s Law.

Young faced a twitterstorm of criticism following his comments, forcing him to defend himself on his personal blog yet not on the Spectator website.

 


See also:

One of Gove’s free schools gets only 37 applications for September 29 Jun 2012

Gove must stop seeing the British education system as part of a global qualifications race 21 Jun 2012

Wales education minister: Gove’s way of announcing GCSE reforms was “bonkers” 21 Jun 2012

Toby Young is wrong about the cuts and wrong about the march 29 Mar 2011


 

These comments could cause trouble for Young, considering he co-founded the West London Free School and is currently trying to push his book entitled ‘How to Set Up a Free School’.

Education consultant Matt Pearson wrote:

Put simply Young cannot have his cake and eat it.  He has a perfect right to argue that some children are illiterate savages with no hope of redemption, or they come saddled with physical or mental disabilities which will drag education down to a hopeless pool of mediocrity.  But arguing that his school can be genuinely comprehensive and non-selective whilst holding these opinions is simply not tenable.

One tweeter wrote:

“Wonder what the PM, father of a disabled child, thinks of Toby Young’s opinion on disabled access. Still a top choice to run a school, Dave?”

The education secretary is having enough trouble trying to attract children to his free schools, the last thing he needs is one of his free school ambassadors tarring the initiative even further.

 


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31 Responses to “Toby Young attacks “ghastly” need for wheelchair ramps in schools”

  1. Mike Homfray

    Scumbag, essentially

  2. joy johnson

    Toby Young attacks “ghastly” need for wheelchair ramps in schools:
    http://t.co/BOpqWV1Z @LFFKatie @leftfootfwd What a horrible little man.

  3. joy johnson

    Toby Young attacks “ghastly” need for wheelchair ramps in schools:
    http://t.co/BOpqWV1Z @LFFKatie @leftfootfwd What a horrible little man.

  4. Paul Callaghan

    Toby Young attacks need for wheelchair ramps in schools and suggests scrapping Equality Act http://t.co/uxNRJ4Tm

  5. Paul Callaghan

    Toby Young attacks need for wheelchair ramps in schools and suggests scrapping Equality Act http://t.co/uxNRJ4Tm

  6. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Toby Young attacks "ghastly" need for wheelchair ramps in schools http://t.co/xbKn0yLJ

  7. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Toby Young attacks "ghastly" need for wheelchair ramps in schools http://t.co/xbKn0yLJ

  8. Michael Carty

    #ukemplaw RT @paulcall1: Toby Young attacks need for wheelchair ramps in schools and suggests scrapping Equality Act http://t.co/jOwNCjtS

  9. Michael Carty

    #ukemplaw RT @paulcall1: Toby Young attacks need for wheelchair ramps in schools and suggests scrapping Equality Act http://t.co/jOwNCjtS

  10. Primly Stable

    Can Toby point to the part of the Equality Act that bans “elitism”? No, he can’t, because there isn’t one. This means Toby Young is either a liar or an idiot. Which is it, Tobes?

  11. Matthew S. Dent

    Oh that defence is just beautiful. Basically, we should have known that he wasn’t saying something offensive, because he’d never say anything offensive. Genius.

  12. kate shepherd

    RT@paulcall1: Toby Young attacks need for wheelchair ramps in schools and suggests scrapping Equality Act http://t.co/94CN1Jdw

  13. kate shepherd

    RT@paulcall1: Toby Young attacks need for wheelchair ramps in schools and suggests scrapping Equality Act http://t.co/94CN1Jdw

  14. Louise McCudden

    Well his school sounds like it must be just delightful.

  15. Louise McCudden

    You make it sound like that’s an either/or scenario… 😉

  16. Julie Ann Freke

    Some pretty despicable comments on accessibility from the founder of one of Mr Gove's flagship 'Free Schools' http://t.co/Sgq4Lku8

  17. Julie Ann Freke

    Some pretty despicable comments on accessibility from the founder of one of Mr Gove's flagship 'Free Schools' http://t.co/Sgq4Lku8

  18. TeresaMary

    Sun columnist Toby Young wants rid of wheelchair ramps and the Equalities Act in schools, writes @LFFKatie: http://t.co/8DnJc88d

  19. Jo Oldale

    Trouble is, he and his ilk are running the country. He is just in a position to speak freely. God help us. Not sure I want to live here any more

  20. KG

    Toby Young attacks “ghastly” need for wheelchair ramps in schools:
    http://t.co/BOpqWV1Z @LFFKatie @leftfootfwd What a horrible little man.

  21. Vaughan West

    Can you believe it, of Toby Young I am afraid the answer is yes: http://t.co/CTmvwkGr

  22. mcquade

    “But after a three-month spell in Israel working on Kibbutz (which turned me into a lifelong Zionist), I decided to go back to school, retake my O-levels, do three A-levels and apply to Oxford.”

    That’s not the story he used to tell us in his coke-fuelled Oxford days. The version then was that it wasn’t of his own volition but under the authoritarian whip of his wealthy father who he hated for being the epitome of the establishment.

  23. Mr. Sensible

    Surprised? Me neither…

  24. Nigel Roberts

    Toby Young attacks “ghastly” need for wheelchair ramps in schools http://t.co/uLirBo7O

  25. Tom Pride

    @rupertmurdoch : Want to hear something really creepy and evil? The Sun saying disabled should be excluded from schools http://t.co/dO2Q2e1f

  26. jamie mckay

    @rupertmurdoch : Want to hear something really creepy and evil? The Sun saying disabled should be excluded from schools http://t.co/dO2Q2e1f

  27. ray turner

    RT @leftfootfwd: Toby Young attacks "ghastly" need for wheelchair ramps in schools http://t.co/uGyYepjV What a Moron #TobyYoung

  28. Pitbull2k8

    Functionally illiterate troglodytes with the mental age of six usually end up working for News International, so he’s shot himself in the foot there.

  29. Michael Bater

    RT @leftfootfwd: Toby Young attacks "ghastly" need for wheelchair ramps in schools http://t.co/1KdVfynq

  30. Look Left – Libor, banks, inquiries, Osborne... and Cameron’s broken NHS pledge | Left Foot Forward

    […] This week’s most read: 1. Toby Young attacks “ghastly” need for wheelchair ramps in schools Katie […]

  31. Craig

    what a twat
    RT @leftfootfwd: Toby Young attacks "ghastly" need for wheelchair ramps in schools http://t.co/WdonBKhY

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