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The headmaster of a top private school in London is set to come out as gay to his pupils tomorrow (1 February) in a virtual assembly.
Nicholas Hewlett, 41, is the headteacher of St Dunstan's College in Catford, south-east London, where parents pay £18,000 a year for students to attend.
Assemblies at the school have been continuing through lockdown online, but tomorrow's session is set to be a little different - with Hewlett planning to announce to staff and pupils that he is gay.
Explaining his decision to go public about his sexuality, Hewlett told the Sunday Times: "Not long ago I was doing interviews with the pupils, and one of them was talking about how comfortable he was about being gay.
"I was so blown away by the courage of him that something flipped in my head.
"I thought then of my own situation and thought: 'This is ridiculous. Here I am as a happily married gay man, and the children do not know that at school'."
He added: "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."
Hewlett - who married Alberic Elsom, director of music at Whitgift independent school in Croydon, in 2014 - said he was bullied during his time at school.
But he said attitudes have changed 'astronomically', revealing that just 15 years ago, a senior colleague told him it would be 'virtually impossible' to become a headmaster as an openly gay man.
Hewlett admitted the assembly will be an 'emotional' way to start the week, and that he might cry if he'd delivered the speech in person to students.
He hopes his message will help inspire others to have the courage to be 'true' to themselves, saying: "Sexuality should never be a barrier to success or happiness."
The Department for Education said in a statement: "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."
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