Mathematics teacher Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, told a group of students that included a teen who identifies as a boy “Well done girls,” when he spotted them working hard in class. Sutcliffe said he was then corrected by the student, and apologized immediately.
The Oxfordshire teacher was suspended six weeks after the incident, when the student’s mother lodged an official complaint. The school has conducted an investigation into the complaints made against Sutcliffe, and he faces a disciplinary hearing this week.
The Daily Mail revealed that the family also made claims that Sutcliffe was teaching about religious issues during math class and picking on their child, handing out a disproportionate number of detentions for misbehavior. The bullying claim was not upheld during the investigation into the teacher’s conduct.
Sutcliffe, who is an associate pastor at Christ Revelation evangelical church in Oxford, said he had raised religious issues such as the anniversary of the Reformation in his general tutor group, as he encourages older pupils to discuss topical issues in the news. Sutcliffe said this did not occur in any math classes.
The teacher said he was “distraught” by the investigation and pending hearing, as his profession is his life.
“I was absolutely shocked to be told by the head that I was under investigation. I didn’t know what was happening. It was surreal, Kafkaesque,” he said.
“I said it was only one incident for which I had apologized, but he insisted the investigation would go ahead.
“I had always tried to respect the pupil and keep a professional attitude as well as my integrity, but it seemed to me that the school was trying to force me to adhere to its liberal, Leftish agenda.”