Christian teacher who opposed school trans policy loses judicial review bid

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A Christian teacher who was sacked for challenging a schools's affirming transgender policy has been refused a judicial review by the High Court.

The teacher, who cannot be named for legal reasons, raised safeguarding concerns about the policy with the local council and primary school where she worked.

The dispute arose after an 8-year-old pupil in her class, named only as 'Child X' for legal reasons, started to identify as transgender.

The teacher expressed opposition to advice from the lcoal council that said the school should address the child using their preferred pronouns and name, and permit them to use the toilets, dormitaries and other school facilities that match their chosen gender.

She was later sacked by the local council which alleged that she had breached confidentiality rules when she started legal proceedings against the council and the primary school.

According to the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is supporting the teacher in her case, the High Court refused her request for a judicial review on the grounds that she lacked "standing" to challenge alleged safeguarding failures in relation to 'Child X' because the child had later been moved to a different class and teacher.

The High Court has also ordered the teacher to pay the council's legal costs. The decision against her was upheld by the Court of Appeal last month.

The teacher remains under investigation by the Teaching Regulatory Authority and cannot work as a teacher until it reaches its verdict.

Unable to teach, she has taken up work in a sandwich shop. If found guilty of professional misconduct by the TRA, she faces a lifelong ban from teaching.

She was also referred to the Disclosure and Barring Service, and the Information Commissioner, who have both confirmed that no action will be taken.

An Employment Tribunal hearing is expected to hear her claim for unfair dismissal in August 2024.

The CLC said that the council has since written to the teacher demanding payment of the court-awarded £14,000 and suggesting that it may enforce collection of the payment.

The teacher's lawyers argue that she has been "impoverished" by her sacking and that enforcing the court order before the Employment Tribunal has ruled on her case would be unlawful.

The teacher has accused the council of "seeking to intimidate" her into dropping further legal claims.

She said that teachers are being "bullied" into accepting trans-affirming policies and that her case demonstrates the "hostility" towards anyone who dares to challenge them in schools.

"Transgender ideology is now so embedded in our schools and institutions that if you challenge the secular orthodoxy on these issues the weight of the whole system comes against you," she said.

She called the decision of the High Court not to grant a judicial review "disappointing and disturbing".

"The ruling blocks anyone from taking forward the claim who is not on board with affirming Child X through gender transition, which should concern us all," she said.