Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Dating faculty?


I am an A level student, 2 months until I'm 18, I've got a couple questions. First of all once I turn 18 am I allowed to hang out with staff from my sixth form outside school? Not teacher particularly but people who work around the school that don't teach.

And once I turn 18, if I were to wish to start a relationship with a staff member that isn't a teacher would that be illegal? I am very interested in this guy I've liked since I was 13, he's 9 years older than me but we connect on an intellectual level. I would also be going to a university near by and he's thinking about leaving his job so pursue a career in something different. So taking in these facts, he wouldn't be working in a school much longer and I'd be 18, would it be legal for me to seek a relationship with him?

Kind Regards

Ask Sam


Hi there,

The law says that students cannot be in a sexual relationship with teachers, and schools/colleges will have their own policies even when a relationship isn't breaking the law.

It's important to understand why the law and these policies exist - and when they apply.

Normally the law says someone can't have sex until they are 16 years old. But there's another part to this law which says that you need to be 18 if the person you're having sex with is in a position of trust. A position of trust means they have some kind of power over you - so your teacher or a social worker, for example.

The reason this law exists is so that your teacher can't try to bribe you into having sex by giving you a good grade or treat you differently than other students. If you were worried about your grades then it makes you more vulnerable to being made to do something you don't want to.

There will be times when it isn't against the law, but may be inappropriate to be in a sexual relationship. If someone is 18 and they are still in college or at university and want to have a sexual relationship with a teacher/professor is one example.

It may also be that someone is 16 and wants to have sex with a staff member at the school who isn't their teacher. The school itself will usually have a policy about this, which means the teacher or staff member will probably be fired for having this kind of relationship. Although they might not be breaking the law, it's unusual and worrying behaviour for someone who works with young people to want to have sex with someone of that age. This also applies if the teacher works in a different school or isn't your teacher directly.

In your case, you are asking if you can hang out with staff from your sixth form after you leave. The answer to that is yes, there's no reason why that would be a problem - once you're 18 you are an adult and you can choose who you spend time with.

Starting a relationship with someone who works at your old sixth form after you've left, when you're over 18, isn't illegal. But it's important to consider that an age difference of 9 years when you are 18 is quite a lot. It may cause some people concern and you may need to prepare yourself for that. At the end of the day, it's your choice and there isn't anything wrong or illegal about it in your case.

Everyone's situation is different and it's important to make sure you get the right advice for you - if you wanted to talk more about it with a counsellor then Childline is here for you to do that confidentially.

I hope that helps, take care.


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