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Nicholas Hewlett/Twitter
Nicholas Hewlett/Twitter

Headteacher announces he's gay in online assembly after talking about discrimination experienced by school chaplain outed by magazine

by Premier Journalist

A London headteacher has come out as gay in a virtual school assembly after speaking about the experience of a school chaplain who was outed for his sexuality.

Nicholas Hewlett, headteacher at the £18,000-a-year St Dunstan's College in Catford, told students and staff in the assembly that he was "comfortable to share" that he was "happily gay and in a same-sex relationship."

It is thought Mr Hewlett has made history as the first headteacher to come out in front of his pupils and staff. 

In the assembly, to coincide with LGBT History month, the headteacher, 41, began by speaking about the experience of former St Dunstan's pupil, Martin Preston, who went on to work at the school as a teacher and the school lead of the religious department, before becoming chaplain at the school during the 60s, 70s and 80s.

He added that Mr Preston, who was ordanied as a Baptist minister, was publically outed in 1981 by "the then editor of Private Eye Magazine."

Pupils from the school rallied around their teacher and had letters published praising Martin Preston "they went against cultural norms of the time, and showed enormous humanity, respect and dignity and in apparent contradiction to the views of the Headmaster of that time, who took a very different view," Mr Hewlett explained.

He went on to say that today at St Dunstan's being gay or having any form of different sexual identity didn't carry with it the same stigma, need for such attention, the need for controversy.

Taking to Twitter following the assembly, Nicholas Hewlett gave thanks for "all the wonderful messages of support today @StDunstansColl deserves to feel very proud of its diverse and inclusive community. In times of uncertainty we need our values more than ever. They are precious and must be cherished."

He also added he was thinking about how the school could more permanently recognise the legacy of Martin Preston who died last month.


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