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Oxford teacher faces action over ‘misgendering’ pupil

Joshua SutcliffeImage copyright Christian Legal Centre
Image caption Joshua Sutcliffe said he tried to balance his beliefs with the need to treat the pupil sensitively

A teacher is facing disciplinary action at his school after he referred to a transgender pupil as a girl, although the student identifies as a boy.

Joshua Sutcliffe, a Christian pastor from Oxford, admitted he said “Well done girls” when addressing a group including the student.

He described it as a “slip of the tongue”, but said he believed biological sex was defined at birth

The school said it would be “inappropriate” to comment.

Mr Sutcliffe, who teaches children aged between 11 and 18, said the incident took place on 2 November.

He said a week-long investigation found he had “misgendered” the pupil.

‘Born a girl’

The maths teacher, who is also a pastor at the Christ Revelation church in Oxford, said he tried to balance his beliefs with the need to treat the pupil sensitively.

He said he did this by avoiding the use of gender-specific pronouns and by referring to the pupil by name.

But he thought it was not “unreasonable to call someone a girl if they were born a girl”.

The Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting him, said he faced an internal disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.

The state academy school which employs Mr Sutcliffe said the matter was confidential.

However, it said it took equality and discrimination seriously and had a range of governor-approved policies in place to ensure it acted lawfully.

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