A £34,500-a-year British boarding school threatened to expel students who have girlfriends or boyfriends -- and they can forget about a good university reference

Wikimedia Commons/Arwel ParryRuthin School, main building.

  • A prestigious British boarding school has threatened students with expulsion if they enter into relationships.
  • The headmaster has declared that students with boyfriends and girlfriends will also receive damning references in their university applications.
  • Two students have already been expelled for engaging in sexual activity.

One of the UK’s leading boarding schools is threatening students with expulsion and bad university references if they engage in romantic relationships with one another, the Times reported.

The headmaster of Ruthin School, a £34,500 ($US48,600)-a-year boarding school in north Wales, reportedly wrote in an email to staff that: “I strongly disapprove of any boyfriend/girlfriend relationships – and it will always affect any university reference I write.”

The email continued: “I will put together a list of any student with a boyfriend or girlfriend. These students – if in lower sixth form or year 11 – can expect to find new schools in September.”

The Times reported that headmaster Toby Belfield has already expelled two students for sexual contact on school grounds.

Ruthin School, which traces its origins as far back at 1284, has a prestigious reputation and is ranked twelfth in the Times’ 2017 A-Level league tables.

Headmaster Belfield has previously been accused of actively seeking out pupils to expel because the school was oversubscribed, according to the Times’ informant.

The headmaster has also reportedly banned pupils from ordering takeaways to their dorms and has criticised “pathetic” children for taking sick days.

In a statement issued to the Times, headmaster Toby Belfield said: “In my experience, students who are in a relationship, while at school are in danger of academically underachieving.

“If a student was achieving top grades, then I would not hamper their chances of a university place by writing a less favourable reference, due to them having a boyfriend/girlfriend. But, this is very rare.”

Upon being quizzed over whether a romantic relationship is a big enough reason to be expelled, Belfield told the Times: “Pupils will not be summarily expelled… they will be given the opportunity to review their current romantic situation, and my belief is that they (and their parents) will put their education first.”

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