School worker who says she was sacked for being Christian wins right to appeal

Kristie Higgs
Image caption,Mrs Higgs shared a post which claimed teaching of LGBT+ relationships was “brainwashing our children”

A school worker who claims she was sacked because of her beliefs has won the right to be heard by senior judges.

Kristie Higgs, 46, was dismissed in 2019 from Farmor’s School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, for gross misconduct.

The school had denied dismissing Mrs Higgs because of her religious beliefs and said she was sacked because of the language used in social media posts.

Her case went to a tribunal in 2020 which she lost and then appealed in 2022, which she won in June 2023.

The hearing is likely to take place later this year.

In its ruling in 2020, the tribunal concluded her religion is a “protected characteristic” as defined by the Equality Act but the school lawfully dismissed her.

Mrs Higgs shared and commented on posts which raised concerns about relationship education at her son’s Church of England primary school.

Pupils were to learn about the No Outsiders In Our School programme, which is a series of books teaching the Equality Act in primary schools.

Kristie Higgs
Image caption,Kristie Higgs welcomed the fresh hearing due later this year

Mrs Higgs welcomed the fresh hearing expected to take place later this year at the Court of Appeal.

“From the beginning, despite the many attempts by the school to suggest otherwise, this has always been about my Christian beliefs and me being discriminated against for expressing them in my own time,” she said.

“I was, and still am, appalled by the sexual ideology that was being introduced to my son’s Church of England primary school.

“What has happened since in schools with extreme RSE (relationships and sex education) and transgender ideology shows that I was right to be concerned as a parent.”

Anonymous complaint

Mrs Higgs, who was posting on Facebook under her maiden name, shared two posts in October 2018 to about 100 friends.

One of the posts referred to “brainwashing our children”.

An anonymous complaint was made to the school and Mrs Higgs was suspended.

Then after a disciplinary hearing she was dismissed for gross misconduct.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “The previous judgment that upheld her sacking could not stand.

“In what should have been a cut and dry case of discrimination, however, it has been unnerving to encounter the series of obstacles blocking Kristie securing justice,” she said.

“For Kristie’s case to be heard at the Court of Appeal is a huge moment for Christian freedoms and the freedom of any employee to be able to express opposition to LGBT+ ideology without fear of losing their jobs.

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