Christian maths teacher who misgendered trans pupil on TV faces misconduct hearing

Photo of Christian teacher Joshua Sutcliffe wearing a turquoise top smiling as he stands in a countryside setting

An evangelical Christian maths teacher is the subject of a misconduct hearing over his misgendering a trans student.

Joshua Sutcliffe was suspended and later fired by the The Cherwell School in Oxford in 2017 for using the wrong pronouns for a trans student, and is now facing allegations of misconduct from the Teacher Regulation Agency (TRA).

He’s also accused of “inappropriate” comments about same-sex marriage and masculinity in a classroom, Oxfordshire Live reports.

Sutcliffe has previously admitted using the wrong pronouns for the student, claiming to use the correct pronouns would go against his religious beliefs.

The TRA’s lawyer, Andrew Cullen, said Sutcliffe had a “strong belief and unshakeable conviction” that gender cannot be changed from the one assigned at birth.

Cullen added that Sutcliffe, after being suspended and eventually dismissed from The Cherwell School, spoke about the incident on ITV’s This Morning programme.

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There, he misgendered the student again, as well as in a December 2018 email to the school – which the TRA also labels misconduct.

After leaving Cherwell, Sutcliffe began working at St Aloysius’ RC College, a Catholic boys’ school in north London.

There, he is accused of expressing views on same-sex marriage and homosexuality during maths lessons

He is alleged to have said that his roommate “stopped being gay through God”, which Sutcliffe denies saying, and is accused of showing students his own YouTube videos in which he says Muslims have a “false understanding of God”.

According to Oxfordshire Live, the tribunal heard Sutcliffe accepts the videos are on his YouTube but denies showing them to students or making the comments in class.

His lawyer, Michael Phillips, suggested students may have found the videos themselves but either way, the views were something “wholly in keeping with the Christian faith”.

In relation to the transgender student, Phillips said Sutcliffe did not believe he needed to use their preferred pronouns in the ITV appearance or December 2018 email because the student was “not privy to those conversations”.

He also claimed there was nothing requiring Sutcliffe to use them, other than “a brief conversation with a colleague that if you don’t do this, Pupil A will get mad”.

Separate from this misconduct hearing, Sutcliffe had previously, in early 2020, reached an undisclosed settlement with The Cherwell School after threatening to bring a discrimination case to the employment tribunal.

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