A headteacher at an exclusive private school is set to make history by coming out as gay and discussing his sexuality in a virtual school assembly on Monday, February 1, 2021.
Nicholas Hewlett, the headteacher at the £18,000-a-year St Dunstan’s College in Catford, plans to tell students and staff that he is happily married to a man tomorrow morning.
It is thought that the announcement to students by a headteacher will be the first of its kind in educational history.
The 41-year-old has said he was inspired to do so after being impressed with a student’s courage in discussing their own sexuality which left him feeling determined, to be honest about his situation.
His announcement will mark the start of the school’s LGBTQ week and the beginning of LGBTQ History Month.
Hewlett told the Times: ‘My only regret is not doing it earlier, because seven years of children will have gone through the school without the benefit of a role model.
‘The message is simply have the courage to be true to yourself.
‘There will be kids who are struggling with their own sexuality and who would benefit from knowing that you can be happy and gay, and I have a privileged position to show them that.
‘I felt that I owed it to the pupils to be open and courageous too. I am inspired by them.’
The headteacher said when he first became a teacher, he was warned that his sexuality would be a barrier to a successful career.
But he said society had come a long way since he was a student in the 1990s.
He added: ’15 years ago, I was told by a senior colleague in the school I was then working in that, as an openly gay man, it would be virtually impossible for me to become a headmaster.’
He said he hopes the announcement will be met with a positive reaction by students at the school who he hopes may cheer or wave rainbow flags in support.
Addressing his decision to go public, the headmaster wrote on Twitter: ‘If it can help just one young person feel more comfortable in their skin, it is surely an act worth doing.’
The Department for Education told the Times: ‘We trust teachers and school leaders to make decisions about what’s appropriate to discuss with pupils.
‘By the end of secondary education, all pupils should receive teaching on LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] relationships. Schools are free to determine how they do this.’