Teacher sacked after refusing to treat eight-year-old biological female as a boy over welfare concerns

A teacher who was sacked for refusing to treat an eight-year-old biological female as a boy will tell an employment tribunal this week of her serious concerns for the child’s welfare.

A teacher who was sacked for refusing to treat an eight-year-old biological female as a boy will tell an employment tribunal this week of her serious concerns for the child’s welfare, the Mail reports.

The teacher – who can only be named as ‘Hannah’ for legal reasons – was ordered by the headteacher to go along with the wishes of the pupil to “socially transition” following the Nottinghamshire school’s adoption of training methods devised by LGBT+ charity Stonewall, which urges teachers to “remove any unnecessarily gendered language” from the classroom.

The local authority-run school instructed all staff to always refer to the girl with male pronouns and a male name, while an ultimately futile attempt was made to keep the child’s gender change a secret from classmates. The child, backed by her parents, was also allowed to wear a boy’s uniform and to use the boys’ lavatories and changing rooms.

Troubled by what she saw as a misalignment between these top-down instructions and her on-the-ground assessment of her pupil’s needs, Hannah followed the school’s whistleblowing policy and repeatedly raised safeguarding concerns.

When Hannah eventually felt she had no choice but to bring a claim for judicial review against the school on the basis that its actions were endangering the child and other pupils, she was sacked.

Worse was to follow when her application for a judicial review hearing was rejected on the grounds that she lacked legal ‘standing’ to challenge safeguarding failures in relation to an individual child at the school, and the High Court judge ordered her to pay the council’s legal costs of £14,000.

However, the teacher, who says she is determined to seek justice, begins her employment tribunal case against Nottinghamshire county council later this week, claiming she was victimised and unfairly dismissed.

Hannah told the Mail that her sacking, for wanting to protect vulnerable children from harm, has torn her life apart and left her with the prospect of never being able to teach again. She said that although she enjoyed five happy years at the school and had an unblemished teaching record, during that time education “became increasingly politicised”.

“Teachers are being bullied into not questioning trans-affirming policies when evidence shows that the actual result of the approach is to put the welfare of children at serious risk,” she said.

Hannah’s case is yet another example that confirms the finding from a report by the think tank Policy Exchange that schools are increasingly influenced by gender ideology and will brook no opposition to the view that biological sex is a social construct, just like gender.

The government’s long-awaited trans guidance for schools, which was published for consultation in December, attempts to counter this trend, and provides clarity on how teachers should (and should not) deal with gender-questioning pupils.

Drawn up by Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch, the guidance document urges schools to take a cautious approach to children who want to transition socially (i.e., where they adopt the pronouns and dress of the opposite gender without any medical interventions), and makes clear that headteachers must now tell parents if their child wants to change gender.

As a result, the non-statutory guidance also proposes new protections for freedom of belief and speech.

The FSU welcomes the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) recognition that gender identity ideology “is a contested belief”. Parents, teachers and governors must be able to question any theory that’s relevant to schooling without fear of sanction.

Back in August, the FSU assisted the parents of a pupil at Rye College in East Sussex after a teacher was recorded telling their 13-year-old daughter she was “despicable” for questioning the tenets of gender identity theory, and that she was no longer welcome at the school if she continued to express the view that only boys and girls exist. As we pointed out, this approach to classroom interaction is clearly not consistent with the Equality Act’s requirements upon schools to promote respect for the different protected characteristics as defined in law.

Elsewhere, legal action was needed to get a parent governor restored to her role after she was dismissed for raising concerns with the trans-affirming sex education policy at her children’s primary school.

The FSU also wrote to the National Education Union (NEU) last year, after a whistleblower leaked a document to our organisation containing the NEU’s proposed definition of ‘transphobia’, which included the claim that it involves “rejection of trans identity and a refusal to acknowledge that those identities are real or valid” or the “incorrect use of pronouns”. As we pointed out in our letter, while protecting trans pupils, teachers and support staff from harassment is a worthy aim, this definition went well beyond compliance with equalities law, and would have the effect of rendering any challenge to gender identity ideology as a legitimate reason to sack a teacher.

On the same day the DfE’s guidance was published, former maths teacher Kevin Lister was barred from working with children after he refused to use a gender-confused pupil’s preferred name and pronouns without parental consent. Writing in the Mail, Mr Lister said: “My real crime was that I had questioned a dangerous gender ideology that has infiltrated our education system and countless other institutions.”

More recently, a former school chaplain at a college in Derbyshire was sacked, reported to the national teaching regulator, the Disclosure and Barring Service, and the government’s counter-terrorism programme Prevent for the ‘crime’ of preaching a sermon reminding pupils that no-one has a monopoly on moral truth, whether it’s traditional Christians or LGBT activists, and stressing how important it is to approach ethical disagreements with humility, tolerance and courtesy.

The DfE’s guidance should help check the worrying rise of the ‘activist’ teaching professional who regards any form of reasoned, intellectual dissent from gender identity theory as ‘transphobic’.

It’s also encouraging to see the DfE pushing back against the de facto compelled speech element to preferred pronoun usage that’s developed in schools.

We regularly assist people who’ve got into trouble at work for refusing to pay fealty to this aspect of gender identity theory.

The fact that Christian teacher Joshua Sutcliffe was banned from the profession for ‘misgendering’ a pupil in a case believed to be the first of its kind in the UK last year, demonstrates just how acute this problem is becoming.

But will the DfE’s guidance make any difference? Some of England’s biggest teaching unions are already advising teachers to ignore the document, pointing out that it is ‘just’ non-statutory. Writing on X, one NEU representative also claimed the guidance could put pupils “in danger”, and said: “I respect my students and will use their preferred pronouns always.”