Christian teacher who 'misgendered' trans pupil banned from teaching
Christian teacher is banned from teaching for ‘misgendering’ a trans pupil ‘in first case of its kind in UK’ as he reveals he is ‘devastated’ by ruling and plans to appeal
- Teacher Joshua Sutcliffe found guilty of ‘misgendering’ a transgender pupil
- It was ruled the Christian teacher failed to treat pupil with ‘dignity and respect’
- The former maths teacher praised a group of pupils by saying: ‘Well done girls’
A Christian teacher who was suspended from a school after calling a transgender pupil a girl has been banned from teaching.
In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in the UK, Joshua Sutcliffe, 33, was ruled by the Teaching Regulation Authority (TRA) to have failed to treat a pupil with ‘dignity and respect’ by ‘misgendering’ them.
The former maths teacher at The Cherwell School, a state secondary in Oxford, admitted to failing to use the pupil’s preferred pronouns when praising a group of students during a maths lesson, The Telegraph reports.
In 2017, Mr Sutcliffe was suspended and subsequently left the school after he praised a group of pupils by saying, ‘well done girls’, claiming later that this was not deliberate and that he apologised straight away. He later took legal action against the school for constructive dismissal and discrimination.
The TRA concluded that it was ‘more probable than not’ that he addressed the transgender pupil with female pronouns in other instances during his time at the school between 2015 and 2018 – something he denies.
Mr Sutclliffe said he is ‘devastated’ by the ruling to ban him from teaching and plans to appeal, the newspaper reports.
Joshua Sutcliffe (pictured), 33, who was suspended from a school after calling a transgender pupil a girl has been banned from teaching
The former maths teacher at The Cherwell School (pictured), a state secondary in Oxford, admitted to failing to use the pupil’s preferred pronouns when praising a group of students during a maths lesson
As well as being struck off for misgendering the pupil, it was also proved that he expressed views against gay marriage when quizzed by a student.
Meanwhile, he was also found to have failed to ‘consider the potential impact’ on his pupils, particularly those who are LGBT, of a statement that being gay was wrong.
From September 2018, the Maths teacher went to work at a boys St Aloysius’ College in Islington, north London. A complaint against the teacher for showing students a video that contained ‘inappropriate comments’ was upheld.
Complaints over comments he made about masculinity, including that there is a ‘growing problem in today’s society that men are not masculine enough’, were also upheld.
Mr Sutcliffe, who was initially suspended after appearing on ITV’s This Morning to talk about the issue in 2017, told The Telegraph he is ‘devastated’ with his ban and will appeal and the decision with support from the Christian Legal Centre.
He said: ‘I believe affirming children in gender confusion in the classroom is psychologically damaging for them. I refuse to go against my conscience and cause a child harm and refuse to apologise for that.’
The TRA ruling stated however: ‘The panel was satisfied that the conduct of Mr Sutcliffe fell significantly short of the standard of behaviour expected of a teacher.’
Mr Sutcliffe, who was initially suspended after appearing on ITV’s This Morning (pictured on show in 2017) to talk about the issue, is said to be ‘devastated’ with his ban
After being found guilty of unacceptable processional conduct, a decision to ban him from teaching was made on behalf of Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, by the TRA’s decision maker Alan Meyrick.
‘In my view, it is necessary to impose a prohibition order in order to maintain public confidence in the profession,’ Mr Meyrick said.
The landmark ruling comes amid schools waiting for the first detailed Government guidance over how to respond to transgender pupils. It is expected to say that teachers can refuse to use alternative pronouns demanded by students.
Mr Sutcliffe came under fire for his appearance on TV as it was ruled that he did not safeguard the pupil’s wellbeing when he used a female pronoun to describe them on the show.
Although he did show remorse over the pupil’s fear of being identified, as well as their suicidal thoughts, the TRA found it ‘fell significantly short of the level expected by the panel.’
Mr Meyrick added: ‘A published decision, in light of the circumstances in this case, that is not backed up by full remorse or insight, does not in my view satisfy the public interest requirement concerning public confidence in the profession.’
Mr Sutcliffe has has been banned from teaching indefinitely. He can apply to have the ban removed in 2025
Mr Sutcliffe has been banned from teaching indefinitely, preventing him from getting a job in the profession at any school, sixth form college or children’s home in England. He can apply to have the ban revoked from 2025.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: ‘We do not comment on specific cases or individuals.
‘More broadly, the Education Secretary is working closely with the minister for women and equalities to support schools in relation to children who are questioning their gender, following calls from schools, teachers, and parents.
‘This guidance will clarify schools’ legal position and the importance of involving parents when making any decisions relating to their child.’
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