Maya Forstater gives evidence in Christian teacher's misgendering case

Joshua Sutcliffe(Photo: Christian Legal Centre)

Feminist campaigner Maya Forstater has given expert evidence in support of a Christian teacher who faces being struck off the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) after allegedly misgendering a pupil. 

Ms Forstater won a landmark legal case two years ago on the freedom to say that biological sex cannot be changed. 

A panel of the TRA met on Monday to hear the case of Joshua Sutcliffe, 32, who has been accused of misgendering a biologically female pupil in his class who self-identified as a boy.

Mr Sutcliffe was suspended from his Oxfordshire school over the incident and eventually dismissed. He took legal action against the school for constructive dismissal and discrimination, and the case was settled out of court.

Ms Forstater was asked to give evidence at Monday's hearing on the compelled use of preferred pronouns and the dangers of affirming trans policies in schools.

The TRA case involves further allegations against Sutcliffe relating to comments he made about the Prophet Muhammad on his personal YouTube channel. These comments led to his resignation from another school, St Aloysius, in north London, 2019.

The teaching regulator is also considering an allegation by his former Oxfordshire school bosses that Sutcliffe, when asked by a pupil for his views during a Bible group meeting, said he believed same-sex marriage was wrong. 

If Mr Sutcliffe loses his case with the TRA, he faces being unable to teach in a school again. 

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is defending Mr Sutcliffe, said: "The TRA is targeting an exceptional teacher because his Christian beliefs do not fall in line with the prevailing secular orthodoxy which cannot tolerate any dissent.

"For loving Jesus, speaking truth in his personal time, and responding to questions from students on the Christian faith, he is being hounded out of the teaching profession.

"With critical shortages of teachers in the profession, why are the TRA so determined to force a high-performing teacher out for their Christian beliefs?

"The very notion of 'misgendering' is completely undefinable - what can be wrong in stating a biological fact?

"We hope the TRA panel will take on board this crucial expert evidence and deliver justice for Joshua this week."