Sacked teacher takes school and council to court over transgender pupil's name row

A primary school teacher from the East Midlands, who was sacked after refusing to address an eight-year-old transgender pupil as a boy, is taking her school and local council to court.

In what's believed to be the first case of its kind in the country, the teacher will tomorrow (25 October) seek a judicial review at the High Court in Birmingham.

The case will be heard at the High Court in Birmingham Credit: ITV News Central

The woman is remaining anonymous to avoid identifying the pupil following a court order from a judge.

'Hannah', not her real name, was told at the start of the school year that she had a child in her class who wanted to change gender.

But she refused to call the pupil by a boy's name, or refer to them with male pronouns.

She says it went against her Christian beliefs and claimed the school's policy could harm the child.

'I just couldn't in all conscience go through with it'

In her first broadcast interview, she's been talking to our Education Correspondent Peter Bearne.

"I'm partly informed by my Christian faith. From my perspective, I felt this whole approach was potentially harmful for children, and I just couldn't in all conscience go through with it."

Initially suspended, she says, for failing to carry out a reasonable request, she was later dismissed for taking legal advice, because that involved sharing confidential information about the child.

'We shouldn't just be unquestioning about some of these requests'

Hannah told our Education Correspondent that she believes children should be supported - but not left unchallenged.

Hannah has also been reported to the Teaching Regulation Agency, and could be barred from teaching for life.

Her case is being supported by Christian Legal Centre, the legal branch of the evangelical group Christian Concern.

On their website, they say they work "to make Jesus and his ways known" and describe being LGBT as "unbiblical".

Report data Credit: ITV News Central

One study carried out in 2014 surveyed a number of trans people aged 16-25, and found two in five had realised they were trans before the age of eleven.

Gendered Intelligence, a charity which supports trans people, says it's quite normal for young children to explore their gender identity.

'These aren't dangerous or concerning things at all'

Cleo Madeleine from the charity Gendered Intelligence says it's natural for children to explore their identity.

The local council says it won't comment on a case that is subject to ongoing proceedings.

It says its priority is the welfare of every child educated in its school.