Christian teacher banned from profession for not using a pupil’s preferred pronouns

Joshua Sutcliffe

Originally published in Premier Christian News

A Christian teacher, previously suspended for addressing a transgender boy as ‘her’ says he’s ‘devastated’ to be banned from teaching.

In a ruling thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, Joshua Sutcliffe was found guilty of unprofessional conduct and “bringing the profession into disrepute” by the Teaching Regulation Authority (TRA) after he failed to use a biological female pupil’s preferred pronouns of ‘he/him’.

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Sutcliffe plans to appeal the ruling.

- Advertisement -

Sutcliffe, former maths teacher at Cherwell Secondary School, Oxford was dismissed for ‘misgendering’ a child in 2017 after saying “well done girls” to his students during a maths lesson. Sutcliffe claimed this was not intentional and swiftly apologised.

An investigation into Sutcliffe’s behaviour was launched by the school and he was subsequently suspended and dismissed. He took legal action against the school for constructive dismissal and discrimination – the case was settled out of court.

The Authority launched its own investigation and found it was “more probable than not” that he had failed to use the child’s preferred pronouns on a number of occasions throughout his employment at the school – something he denies. The panel ruled that he had failed to treat a pupil with “dignity and respect”.

- Advertisement -

Sutcliffe was also challenged by the TRA for comments he made about same-sex marriage, masculinity and Islam during questions at a Christian Union (CU) meeting and online.

Whilst working at St Aloysius RC College in North London, Sutcliffe was criticised for videos found on YouTube in which he expressed his Christian views and reflections on the Bible.

In one video he suggested that “Muslims have a false understanding of God” and that “Muhammad is a false prophet.”

Sutcliffe was suspended for a week in 2019, following an objection to his content from a parent. The allegation was dismissed by the TRA panel, as the video had not been uploaded to Sutcliffe’s personal YouTube channel whilst he was employed by the school.

Following the allegation that Sutcliffe had said he “disagreed with gay marriage” after being questioned by a pupil at a CU meeting, the panel concluded that Sutcliffe sharing his view “did not demonstrate a failure to treat pupils with dignity and respect, nor did he demonstrate a failure to safeguard pupils well-being”. However, he was criticised for showing “a lack of professionalism” in failing to provide alternative arguments and points of view to pupils when he allegedly promoted a video on masculinity from conservative non-profit PragerU.

Sutcliffe denies showing the video during form time but does say he told pupils about its availability online.

Following a seven-day hearing, the Secretary of State for Education ruled that Sutcliffe would be prohibited from teaching in any capacity for at least two years and potentially indefinitely.

The panel described Sutcliffe as “intolerant” and said it was satisfied he was “guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.” The TRA concluded that by refusing to use preferred pronouns and show “full remorse” for doing so, that they “have had to consider the matter from the point of view of an “ordinary intelligent and well-informed citizen.”

The Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “This means that Mr Joshua Sutcliffe is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. He may apply for the prohibition order to be set aside, but not until 2025, 2 years from the date of this order at the earliest.

“This is not an automatic right to have the prohibition order removed. If he does apply, a panel will meet to consider whether the prohibition order should be set aside. Without a successful application, Mr Joshua Sutcliffe remains prohibited from teaching indefinitely.”

Responding to the outcome, Sutcliffe said: “I am devastated by the panel’s ruling and will appeal.

“Based on this ruling, every teacher is at risk if they share their beliefs and views in the classroom. If a teacher had shown or recommended a video from a liberal YouTube platform, would they have been treated as I have?

“I believe affirming children who are in gender distress in the classroom is psychologically damaging for them. I refuse to go against my conscience and cause a child harm and cannot apologise for that.”

Sutcliffe, who claims he’s been “bullied” because of his faith, says children are “indoctrinated” by Pride events, “but if Christian beliefs are raised or expressed in the classroom, you face having your career and life torn apart.”

Subscribe to Newsletter

Please help us to keep on publishing news that brings Hope in Jesus:

Click to join movement

>> Donate  >> Become a Super Subscriber


You are welcome to engage with our articles by making comments [in the Comments area below] that add value to a topic or to engage in thoughtful, constructive discussion with fellow readers. Comments that contain vulgar language will be removed. Hostile, demeaning, disrespectful, propagandistic and off-topic comments may also be moved. This is a Christian website and if you wish to vent against Christian beliefs you have probably come to the wrong place and your comments may be removed. Ongoing debates and repetitiveness will not be tolerated. You will also disqualify yourself from commenting if you engage in trolling.


  1. These allegations are ridiculous.
    I am a bible believing Christian and when we speak about Jesus and Gods holy word it is to help unbelievers.
    “For it is appointed for man to die once and afterwards the judgement” and I’m sure nobody will be happy with the judgement at the end of they do not know Jesus Christ and believe what He graciously did for us so that we could be saved.
    I am 75 years old and wish people would grow up and not be so petty about every word someone speaks. Has our world gone mad!?

  2. This report demonstrates a commendable commitment to upholding the integrity of the word of God in a world that generally doesn’t see the word of God as the answer. But how will you feel if someone were to criticize you for being wheelchair bound without them practically showing you how to get up from the wheelchair? It is important for Christians to realise that we are called upon not only to point out what is sin and what is not, but to also point sinners to the solution, Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Ghost. I emphasize Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Ghost because sin is a spiritual force that makes people bow down in bondage, lose control and commit all kinds of shameful acts. The scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ didn’t only preach righteousness but also demonstrated the power to deliver people from demonic oppression, disease and all manner of afflictions that had their root in sin. Now the question is, is today ‘s Christian walking in the same power of Jesus Christ that not only empowers them to preach righteousness but also to deliver from the spirit of immorality, addiction to alcohol, pornography and etc? The Pharisees were preaching a gospel of condemnation that promoted self -effort in order to live a righteous life. In most instances, the Pharisees always fell foul to the same sins that they were criticizing people for because their righteousness was founded on self effort and not the Spirit of God. Yet the scriptures tell us that ,”as the Father sent me so sent I you”. Jesus Christ was sent with power and anointing to go around doing good and liberating people from the power of sin. When the world sees answers in our gospel they will not feel condemned but more inclined to embrace the grace that the death and resurrection has availed to humanity free of charge . TB Joshua said ” in the arena of liberty the key is not to surpress the flesh but to surrender to the Holy Spirit”. Christians are mostly called to demonstrate the solution (Christ’s victory over sin) and not so much to point out the problem which is sin that causes a life of immorality. Thank God Almighty because Jesus is raising men and women of God all over the world who are preaching the gospel that practically demonstrates power over immorality, diseases, demonic oppression and all satanic bondages. The revival is here and the world will never be the same. “The book of Acts is not mere history but a pattern of what Jesus Christ wants His church to be”, TB Joshua. Brother Chris, God s Heart TV, Man of God Harry of Scoan Thessaloniki, Apostle Kathryn Krick in the US, Prophetess Yinka of God s grace, Apostle John Chi are some of the men and women of God whom God is raising to awaken and prepare His bride for the second coming of Christ.

  3. “Your situation does not embarass Jesus Christ because He has a solution to your problem. When you commit a mistake, do not run away from God, run to God”. TB Joshua