I called a trans boy a girl by mistake... and it may cost me my job as a teacher: Maths tutor suspended after praising pupil using the wrong gender

Mail Online | 11/12/2017 | Jonathan Petre Education Correspondent For The Mail On Sunday
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A teacher has been suspended and could face the sack after he ‘accidentally’ called a transgender pupil a ‘girl’ in class when the student identifies as a boy.

Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, who teaches maths at a state secondary school in Oxfordshire, said ‘Well done girls’ to the teenager and a friend when he spotted them working hard.

Pupil - Weeks - Pupil - Mother - Complaint

He apologised when corrected by the pupil, but six weeks later he was suspended from teaching after the pupil’s mother lodged a complaint.

Following an investigation, he has been summoned to a formal disciplinary hearing this week to face misconduct charges for ‘misgendering’.

Documents - Mail - Sunday - Claims - Equality

According to documents seen by The Mail on Sunday, he also faces claims that he is breaching equality policies by referring to the pupil by name rather than as ‘he’ or ‘him’.

The £30,000-a-year teacher said he was ‘distraught’ and had been reduced to tears as teaching was his life, and he branded the actions of the school as ‘political correctness gone mad’.

Mr - Sutcliffe - Graduate - Teaching - Qualifications

Mr Sutcliffe, a maths graduate who gained his teaching qualifications at Exeter University, said he had no official instructions about how to address the student, but along with other staff decided to use the pupil’s chosen first name.

However, he has admitted that, as a Christian, he avoided using male pronouns such as ‘he’ and ‘him’.

School - Code - Conduct - Equality - Policies

He believed this was consistent with the school’s code of conduct and equality policies to show respect and tolerance, and he said he had encountered no problems with this.

He said he thought no more about the incident until the week before last when, after a parents’ evening, he was unexpectedly called to the head’s office to be told there had been a ‘transgender complaint’ against him and that he was suspended from teaching while it was investigated.

School - Sit

He was told to come to the school and sit in...
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