Sex talk dilemma

19th October 2001 at 01:00

REGARDING Natasha Thoday ("Sex-change teacher in rights fight", TES, October 5), we have accepted, as has the county council, that a breach of employment regulations took place, and have settled out of court and apologised to her. But she has portrayed the school and its head in a way that cannot go unchallenged.

The headteacher engaged Ms Thoday from the Teaching Personnel agency in the full knowledge that she is a trans-sexual. He would hardly have done so if he were "frightened" of, or "prejudiced" against trans-sexuals, as Ms Thoday has subsequently claimed.

The reasons for terminating Ms Thoday's three-week booking on the first day were:an absence of focus on teaching, as class discussion focused on her trans-sexual status and inappropriate comments on this subject.

Problems of classroom control became known to the head subsequently.

We have asked the Education Secretary to clarify what can be discussed in the classroom with regards to sexuality and sexual orientation. Schools need clear guidelines in situations such as these, so that we can deal with them in a way that does not break the law.

Miss P Jeremy

Chair, governing body

Andrew Kearsey

Headteacher

Telscombe Cliffs CP School

Central Avenue

Telscombe Cliffs, East Sussex

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