The head teacher of an exclusive private school will publicly come out as gay at an online assembly on Monday.
Nicholas Hewlett will make educational history on Monday morning when he tells pupils and members of staff at St Dunstan’s College in Catford that he is happily married to a man.
It is thought the 41-year-old’s announcement will mark the first time an acting headmaster has come out in front of their students.
Mr Hewlett said that he was inspired to do so by a student at the £18,000 a year school, who chatted to him openly about their sexuality.
The courage the student exhibited made him determined to be open and honest about his own situation.
Mr Hewlett hopes that his announcement will be met with a positive reaction and that some pupils may even wave rainbow flags.
“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,” he said.
“The message is simply have the courage to be true to yourself.”
The headmaster said society has come a long way since he was a pupil at Whitgift school in the 1990s, when the term ‘gay’ was bandied around as an insult.
When he began working in education Mr Hewlett was warned his sexuality would serve as a barrier in his career path.
“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.
Mr Hewlett urged parents and teachers not to “pigeonhole” children too young, but to give them time to explore their sexualities.
A spokesperson for the Department for Education said teachers were trusted to make decisions about what’s appropriate to discuss with pupils.