A Christian teacher has been banned from the profession for ‘misgendering’ a pupil in a case believed to be the first of its kind in the U.K. The Telegraph has the story.
Joshua Sutcliffe, 33, was ruled by the Teaching Regulation Authority (TRA) to have failed to treat a pupil with “dignity and respect”. He was also found to have failed to protect the pupil’s wellbeing when he did not use the preferred pronouns of a girl who identified as a boy.
Mr. Sutcliffe, a former maths teacher at The Cherwell School, a state secondary in Oxford, admitted he did not use the pupil’s preferred pronouns when he praised a group of pupils during a maths lesson by stating, “well done girls”. He claimed that this was not intentional and that he apologised immediately.
The TRA found it was “more probable than not” that he publicly referred to the transgender pupil using female pronouns on other occasions while working at the school between 2015 and 2018, which Mr. Sutcliffe denied.
As well as the allegations of misgendering a pupil, Mr. Sutcliffe was found guilty of misconduct for expressing his views against gay marriage when questioned by a pupil, and for failing to “consider the potential impact” on his pupils, particularly those who may be from the LGBT+ community, of a statement that being gay was wrong.
A complaint against the teacher for showing pupils at a different school a video which contained “inappropriate comments”, including that a growing problem in today’s society was that men were not masculine enough, was also upheld.
“The panel was satisfied that the conduct of Mr. Sutcliffe fell significantly short of the standard of behaviour expected of a teacher,” the TRA ruling stated, and he was therefore guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.
A decision on whether to impose a ban on behalf of Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, lay with Alan Meyrick, the TRA’s decision maker.
He said: “In my view, it is necessary to impose a prohibition order in order to maintain public confidence in the profession.” …
Mr. Sutcliffe was the subject of a disciplinary hearing at The Cherwell School in 2017 after the transgender pupil’s parent complained that he was misgendering her child.
The teacher appeared on a television programme to talk about the issue and was later suspended and then dismissed.
The TRA was told that the pupil feared being identified and felt suicidal after Mr. Sutcliffe’s television appearance. The TRA found that Mr. Sutcliffe did not safeguard the pupil’s wellbeing when he referred to the pupil using the female pronoun on the show.
While Mr. Sutcliffe showed some level of insight and remorse regarding the effect of his actions on pupils, this was limited and “fell significantly short of the level expected by the panel”, the TRA said.
Mr. Meyrick’s statement 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.”
The teacher has been banned from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, or children’s home in England. He can apply for the ban to be removed in 2025.
Mr. Sutcliffe said on Monday that he was “devastated” by the ruling. He plans to appeal and is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Meanwhile, a teacher who bombarded a schoolgirl with explicit messages on Snapchat and sexualised her in front of younger pupils has been banned from the classroom for just two years. The Mail has more.
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