The former chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) has condemned a prestigious private school for launching an LGBT club as “macabre” at a time “when society is unprecedentedly alert to paedophilia”.

In a letter published by The Times on 17 May, Patrick Tobin, former chairman of HMC, criticised Highgate School in north London for launching the club.

He said: “It is macabre that, when society is unprecedentedly alert to paedophilia, a school should be encouraging its teachers to discuss with pupils their own and their pupils’ sexuality.

“Adults might have found their true sexual identity but adolescents are entitled to change sexually and to be free from the interest or advice of their teachers in this area of life. Teachers who affirm shared sexual identity with pupils are out of order.”

Mr Tobin spent more than 17 years as a headmaster and principal at Prior Park College in Bath and at Erskine Stewart’s Melville School in Edinburgh.

He recently retired as an administrator at HMC and was responsible for helping to organise scholarships for over 400 students from Central & Eastern Europe at UK boarding schools.

However, he remains an honorary associate and member of the organisation.

Mr Tobin also believes it is a “myth” that people can be born gay.

He wrote: “Underlying this issue is the myth that one is born gay or heterosexual. Parents of a girl where I was chairman of governors were deeply saddened that their daughter was in a lesbian relationship and asked the school to intervene. The wise headmistress said that she could not do so. Two years after school both girls were heterosexual.”

Mr Tobin also attacked the “gay lobby” and suggested homophobic bullying in schools was because of “too much media coverage”.

He concluded: “Homophobic bullying is unprecedentedly common, and I suspect this derives from too much media coverage rather than too little. I trust that DfE will ensure that Highgate School will be the last school to have its own Gay and Lesbian Club.”

PinkNews has approached HMC for comment.