Parents accuse head teacher at £15,000-a-year King’s School of ‘demonising boys’ after it launched ‘Change the Narrative’ club to stamp out ‘male toxic behaviour’
- Gareth Doodes is encouraging all 1,467 pupils at the Worcester school to sign up
- Follows claims teachers at school forced girls to kneel to measure their skirts
- A whistleblower also alleged female teachers ‘enforced blatantly sexist rules’
Gareth Doodes is encouraging all 1,467 pupils at the King’s School in Worcester to sign up to the Change the Narrative’ club
Parents today accused the head teacher at a top £15,000-a-year private school founded by Henry VIII of ‘demonising boys’ after it launched a ‘Change the Narrative’ club to stamp out ‘male toxic behaviour’.
Gareth Doodes is encouraging all 1,467 pupils at the King’s School in Worcester to sign up to the new group after claiming that the ‘collective inaction’ of men was in part responsible for women being killed.
It was set up following the murder of Sarah Everard and comes as the school is being investigated over claims teachers forced girls to kneel to measure their skirts.
A whistleblower on anonymous website Everyone’s Invited also alleged that female teachers ‘enforced blatantly sexist rules’ and bullied girls into feeling shame about their bodies.
The website has been central to allegations that a ‘rape culture’ exists in some of Britain’s leading private schools.
Mr Doodes said today: ‘A new club called Change the Narrative that has been formed by sixth form pupils has yet to meet.
‘It is open to all pupils and staff regardless of sex, with the stated aim of discussing important matters such as sexual harassment, violence against women, mental health and other issues in today’s society that need to be addressed in an open and constructive way.’
A whistleblower recently alleged that female teachers at the school ‘enforced blatantly sexist rules’ and bullied girls into feeling shame about their bodies
He said in an earlier statement: ‘Following the tragic murder of Sarah Everard we decided to address the issue of misogynistic behaviour and attitudes in school.
‘We are encouraging all pupils to change the narrative and understand that although all men did not take part in such behaviour, by our collective inactions we were all to an extent culpable.’
But parents have accused Mr Doodes of ‘going for woke’ and ‘demonising all men and boys’.
One parent said: ‘The school is, on the whole, wonderful and provides the best in terms of teaching and pupil development.
‘That said, there is a growing number of parents who are concerned at the direction the head is taking in terms of addressing issues such as misogyny and sexism.
Founded by Henry VIII: The school with close links to Worcester cathedral
The King’s School, Worcester is an English independent school refounded by Henry VIII in 1541.
It was initially set up as a boy’s school, but girls were welcomed into the sixth form in 1971.
The school became fully coeducational in 1991.
The mixed school, which is next to Worcester cathedral in the city centre, now caters to 1,465 pupils aged 2 to 18.
They work closely with the cathedral to train choirsters.
Notable former pupils at the school, which was founded by Henry VIII in 1541, include Conservative MP Richard Bacon, the late comedian Rik Mayall and Sky News presenter Jeremy Thompson.
‘I worry that when Mr Doodes says things like ”collective inactions” he really means the inactions of men and this is how many parents have interpreted his comments.
‘It is not fair, either deliberately or otherwise, to put the blame for sexism and violence against women onto the shoulders of young boys at the start of their lives.’
Writing on Facebook, a mother, who was not identified, added: ‘This ‘Change the Narrative’ club is a prime example of going for woke.
‘The school has a duty to address sexism and make girls feel heard and empowered but not at the expense of demonising all men and boys.’
Mr Doodes took over as headmaster last September and as well as a background in education, is also a Church of England lay minister.
He added: ‘The reaction [to the Change the Narrative club] was heartfelt from all sections of the school community but especially girls at the upper end of the school who felt empowered to speak out.
‘I received over 40 emails from pupils, staff and parents, all in support of taking a stance and shouting out male toxic behaviour in UK institutions.
‘The subject moved from being taboo to being openly discussed in lessons and classes and our head of school Liv along with senior prefect Alice worked with other girls and boys to form a new society called Change the Narrative.
‘This will continue the discussion in a formal setting open to all pupils and staff.’
The school, which was founded by Henry VIII in 1541, caters for boys and girls aged 2-18 and received an ‘Excellent’ Ofsted rating
MailOnline has asked the school for more information about the club.
Earlier this week Mr Doodes confirmed he was launching an urgent investigation into allegations of sexism and bullying.
Writing on whistle-blowing website Everyone’s Invited, the anonymous post read: ‘I remember walking out of cathedral and seeing teachers taking girls off and making them kneel on the cathedral floor just to check their skirt length.
‘The saddest thing was that female teachers even enforced the blatantly sexist rules.
‘They made us think that our bodies should be covered and that it was our responsibility to make sure men wouldn’t look at us.’
The school, which was founded by Henry VIII in 1541, caters for boys and girls aged 2-18 and received an ‘Excellent’ Ofsted rating.
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