Chaplain who told children to question gender ideology wins fight against ban

Rev Dr. Bernard Randall, formerly Chaplain at Trent College in Nottingham
After the sermon in 2019, Dr Randall (pictured), was sacked by Trent College which charges fees of up to £40,000 a year - Ian McIlgorm

A government agency has ruled that it would “not be appropriate” to ban a school chaplain from working with children after he gave a sermon which challenged gender ideology.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has said it will take “no action” against the Rev Dr Bernard Randall, who was referred to them after he delivered a sermon on gender equality and LGBT rights at Trent College in Derbyshire.

The sermon discussed identity politics and told pupils that they did not have to agree with LGBT teaching.

The chaplain told pupils that they were entitled to “look at some of the claims made about gender identity, and think that it is incoherent to say that, for example, gender is quite independent of any biological factor”.

He added: “You should no more be told you have to accept LGBT ideology, than you should be told you must be in favour of Brexit, or must be Muslim – to both of which I’m sure most of you would quite rightly object.”

After the sermon in 2019, Dr Randall was sacked by Trent College, which charges fees of up to £40,000 a year. He was later referred to Prevent, the counter-terrorism programme, the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) and the DBS.

DBS doesn’t plan action

Dr Randall was sent a letter on Wednesday from the DBS stating that it planned to take no action against him and he can continue his work with children and adults.

It is understood it comes after the TRA, which rules on teacher misconduct cases on behalf of the Education Secretary, decided not to take any action last year. Prevent found there was no counter-terrorism risk or risk of radicalisation in Dr Randall’s message.

Dr Randall is appealing after he lost an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal. A hearing is expected to take place this year.

The chaplain, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, has alleged harassment and victimisation over the decision to refer him to the TRA and DBS. The school is defending the claims.

Trent College has previously responded to the row with Dr Randall, by stating that it is “an inclusive community where we are proud of our commitment to support the wellbeing of everyone.

“We want every single pupil to be safe and feel understood here,” a spokesman said.

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