1. ITV Report

Ruthin School head teacher threatens to give pupils in relationships a 'worse university reference'

The head teacher of Ruthin School in Denbighshire is warning pupils that he will give them a "worse reference" for university if they are in a relationship.

Principal Toby Belfield wrote in an email to staff that he "strongly disapproves" of pupils dating:

I STRONGLY disapprove of any boyfriend/girlfriend relationships - and it will ALWAYS affect any university reference I write (meaning - any student in a relationship will definitely get a worse reference from me).

Relationships can start at university - not at Ruthin School.

I will be talking to staff and, as in previous years, I will put together a list of any student with a boyfriend or girlfriend. These students - if in L6 (lower sixth form) or F5 (year 11) can expect to find new school in September.

There are plenty of students that wish to attend Ruthin School without the diversion of romance - and these students can replace those students whose focus is on bf/gf relationships. School is not the place for romantic relationships - ever.

– Principal Toby Belfield

The principal of the £34,500-a-year school later defended the email, saying he he would not “hamper students’ chances” if they were in a relationship.

If a student was achieving top grades (ie predicted 4/5 A* at A Level), then I would not hamper their chances of a university place by writing a less favourable reference, due to them having a boyfriend/girlfriend. My email was a generic one to all students, to try to dissuade them from being in a teenage relationship.

– Principal Toby Belfield