CofE teacher guilty of 'unacceptable conduct' for opposing LGBT teachings, regulatory body rules

Glawdys Leger in an undated photo.
Glawdys Leger in an undated photo. | Glawdys Leger | Christian Concern

A British regulatory agency has stopped short of banning a Church of England school teacher who refused to affirm pro-LGBT teachings on human sexuality but found the teacher guilty of displaying "unacceptable professional conduct" in the run-up to her firing last year.

Glawdys Leger, a modern languages teacher, was fired by Bishop Justice Church of England School in Bromley, Kent, in May 2022. The 43-year-old said her termination was because she refused to teach "extreme" LGBT lessons and because she shared her Christian beliefs on these issues with pupils.

The school is part of the Aquinas Church of England Education Trust, which reported Leger to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) after a complaint was made.

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According to the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is representing the teacher, Leger objected to the content of year 7 lessons, which had been incorporated into religious education classes and included what they say are "extreme content on gender identity with themes that begin to suggest to children that humans can be born in the wrong body."

The curriculum also introduced gender identities such as pansexual, asexual, intersex and transgender.

In a letter announcing its decision last week, the TRA conceded that allegations claiming Leger brought disrepute upon the teaching profession or that she engaged in conduct "contrary to Fundamental British values in that it lacked tolerance to those with different beliefs" could "not be proved," the CLC said.

The panel also found that Leger expressing her beliefs that students were only being taught a pro-LGBT narrative "undermined the School community's aspiration to provide a supportive environment for children who may be exploring sexual identity."

The TRA said Leger was "guilty of unacceptable professional conduct" but stopped short of indefinitely banning her from teaching. The panel called the expression of her beliefs on the topic "inappropriate."

"The Secretary of State for Education has considered the panel's recommendation and has decided that it is not appropriate to impose a prohibition order," the panel wrote, adding, "The details of this decision will be added to your teacher record, which employers can use to check information."

In a statement published via CLC after the ruling, Leger said the firing and legal case has "taken a great toll on me."

"The thought of me losing my career for expressing my Christian beliefs in response to questions from students has been heart-breaking," she said.

"While they have not banned me, they have placed a significant mark against my name which future prospective employers will see. It is like I have had a 'hate crime' recorded against my name which will be kept on the system to highlight that I have Christian beliefs on these issues."

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said the ruling points to a trend of United Kingdom regulatory bodies "creating an oppressive environment for teachers which chills the atmosphere and prevents the expression of Christian faith in schools and any alternative or balancing viewpoint to [LGBT] ideology."

"Ms. Leger cared deeply about the children in her care and wanted to teach them about the tolerance and hope that is found in the Christian faith," said Williams. "For that she has been punished and even risked loss of her license to teach."

The case stems from a discussion on LGBT issues where Leger told students in her class that God made humans male and female, and that she believed homosexuality was sinful.

During a fitness-to-practice hearing in October, the mother and student who filed the complaint alleged that Leger's comments made the student "between uncomfortable and traumatized." During cross-examination, Leger's attorney asked the student and mother if they were aware that Leger also said in class that "There is no place to hurt or exclude anyone because they are LGBT" and that "Christians should pray for people who are LGBT." The student and mother could not recall Leger saying those words. 

During the hearing, Leger said she is "certain that I have not shown, and never would show, any hatred or lack of love towards LGBT people."

"True compassion and love is to be able to speak the truth to people irrespective of their sexuality," she said. "I would never discriminate against anyone, but the school was compelling teachers to promote, teach and celebrate these issues, which I could not do."

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