The Age of Consent Debate: Headmasters differ in attitudes to gay sex

Click to follow
The Independent Online
BOARDING school heads are adamant that homosexual relations should not be allowed in school but their views differ widely on what the age of consent should be.

MPs will vote on the age of consent for homosexuals, at present 21, within the next fortnight. An amendment to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill, reducing the age to 16, has been tabled.

Roy Chapman, chairman of the Headmasters Conference and head of Malvern School, Hereford and Worcester, which has 700 pupils, said: '. . .The Government may well have to move with the times and reduce the age of consent from 21 to 18.' However, he said any type of sexual relations were unacceptable at school. 'A boarding school is in loco parentis and it would be very difficult to take over responsibility from parents in the very delicate matter of sexual relations.'

Christopher Bacon, head of Dean Close, Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, a co-educational boarding school, said there should be no age of consent for homosexuality because the Bible said it was wrong. But he added that, if there was to be an age of consent, it should be 21 for both sexes.

David Jewell, head of Haileybury, a boarding school in Hertfordshire which admits girls in the sixth form, said that the age of consent should be the same for homosexuals and heterosexuals, 'but, illogically, I would vote for it to be 18 for homosexuals. I am not sure that people's sexuality is entirely developed at 16.'

Comments