Feb – March 2021
The draft RSE policy is circulated to governors at the school. It instructs teachers to teach a particular understanding of gender identity and sexuality as fact. The school proposes to use the Genderbread Person graphic to meet this learning objective.

‘Susan’ raises her concerns with the headteacher and other governors, noting that it did not appear to be in line with statutory guidance from the Department for Education. She highlights the lack of balance in the policy, and questions whether its teaching on sexuality and gender identity is age-appropriate or appropriate to the religious background of pupils.

The Governing Body approves the draft RSE policy by a majority.


June 2021
The final RSE policy is made public.


Jan – March 2022
Following the school’s complaints policy, Susan raises a formal Stage 1 complaint that the school had not had regard to the DfE guidance as required by law. Her complaint is dismissed. She is told that the governors rely on school staff to ensure compliance with the guidance rather than considering it in detail themselves. She escalates the complaint to Stage 2.


April 2022
Her complaint is rejected and the option to escalate to the DfE highlighted.

The Local Authority Governor Support Manager emails the school’s Chair of Governors alleging that Susan appears to have breached the National Governance Association’s code of conduct because she “did not stand by the collective decision to adopt the Sex Education Policy”.

In the last line of his email, he says: “Once the removal process is explained to a governor, that is usually enough for a governor to resign to avoid the matter having to be played out in front of the whole governing body”.


May – July 2022
26 May: Susan is informed of the allegations against her.

27 June: She is removed as a governor.

18 July: She escalates her complaint to the DfE.


21 September 2022
A Local Authority Appeal Panel upholds the decision to remove Susan.


December 2022
Susan commences legal action against the Governing Body and Local Authority.


February 2023

The Governing Body and Local Authority accept that the decision to remove Susan was unlawful.


June 2023

Susan is reinstated and granted anonymity following an order made by the High Court.


14 September 2023

Interim DfE response to Susan’s complaint.