UK’s first openly gay state school head comes out by introducing husband in assembly

Colin Scott, 54, said it was time to “practise what he preaches” as he introduced his husband Drew Dalton to pupils during an assembly at a secondary school in North Yorkshire

Colin Scott, 54, was applauded after encouraging 512 students to "be whoever you want to be"
Colin Scott, 54, was applauded after encouraging 512 students to “be whoever you want to be”

The UK’s first openly gay state school head teacher came out to pupils yesterday by introducing his husband during a special assembly.

Colin Scott, 54, was applauded after encouraging 512 students to “be whoever you want to be” during the assembly dedicated to Pride Month at Risedale School in North Yorkshire.

He stood alongside his husband Drew Dalton, a sociology lecturer at the University of Sunderland, who has since said he is “so proud of him”.

Mr Scott, who grew up in a working class household and joined the Royal Navy in 1984, told pupils that it was time to “practise what he preaches” and “be honest to myself”.

He said: “I am truly inspired by the pupils who are brave enough to be who they are and who they want to be.






He stood alongside his husband Drew Dalton (above), a sociology lecturer at the University of Sunderland

“The time for me to hide behind the 80s child is over and to now embrace who I truly am, as I have always, perhaps hypocritically encouraged my pupils to do.

“It’s time for me to practise what I preach and to be honest to myself and to others.”

Mr Scott also spoke of “‘putting up brick walls” and struggling to be open about his sexuality, reported Richmondshire Today.

He told students: “The pressure of being a young gay teacher in the 1990’s prevented me being honest with myself and I hid, and I struggled and I cried. Especially when one young person did find the confidence to confide in me about their own sexuality and I couldn’t help them, talk to them about it or point them in the direction of support.

“Thankfully in 2003 Section 28 was gone and the equality act of 2010 now gives protections to all people regardless of their individuality, their disabilities, their faiths, their genders or their orientations.

“I have always put a brick wall up in front of me to prevent people from seeing the real me and instead showing them this ‘construct’ or clone of what society expected a teacher to be at the time.

“This ‘wall’ stayed up for many years. Each time I went for a promotion being gay could be a career-killer. I still believed being openly gay would prevent a teacher reaching senior levels within a school, and never a headteacher. Especially in a secondary school.






Mr Dalton (above) tweeted: “My husband Colin Scott became the first ever UK state school secondary Headteacher to come out to his pupils”

“But now I sit in awe and admiration for the young people I am responsible for as a headteacher. I watch their acceptance of their peers’ individual identities. Be that their culture, religion, gender, race or sexual orientation.

“I sit back and think to myself ‘why couldn’t I be as open and accepted as most young people now feel confident enough to do and are?'”

Mr Scott continued: “Yes prejudice still exists out there and bullying does still happen in all schools. But here is me. A 54-year-old grown man scared of being who I am and hiding behind this fictional brick wall of my own construct. Yet the young people take on the world and are not now afraid of who they are.

“Prejudice will always exist if those with influence do not challenge it in all its forms. Do I not have the ability to stand up and tell them how life for them is much better than it was for me but to also stand up as a role model to be ‘whoever you want to be’?

“So here I am.”

The head teacher and his husband were joined by Hanna Johnson, North Yorkshire Police’s LGBTQ+ representative, and Lt Colonel Jim Turner, an openly gay commander at Catterick Garrison.

Mr Dalton tweeted after the assembly: “So today, my husband Colin Scott became the first ever UK state school secondary Headteacher to come out to his pupils. #Pride2022 #edchat #education

“They applauded him and he has since received amazing emails from parents. I’m so proud of him.”

The assembly was held to mark Pride Month, which commemorates the pursuit of equal justice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, as well as celebrating the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ individuals.

Starting in the 1970s, Pride has a rich history of over 50 years behind it and is meant to not only be a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community but a movement for equal rights.

The origin of Pride is tied to the Stonewall Riots in New York, however as years passed Pride Month became a global LGBTQ+ liberation movement.

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