The Reintegration Service
Joshua Onduso had been working at The Reintegration Service in Thatcham Google Streetview

A teacher who told his class of children that gay people "have a disease" and are "sick in the head" has been banned from the profession. Joshua Onduso, 50, was working at The Reintegration Service in Thatcham, Berkshire, when he made the offensive remarks. He later told the head teacher homosexuality was a sin that went against his Christian beliefs.

Onduso had denied unacceptable professional conduct but a National College for Teaching and Leadership panel found him guilty in September 2017. Details of his ban only emerged when the report was published in October.

The panel heard how Onduso had begun working at the school as a science and careers teacher in September 2014. The school is designed for pupils aged five to 19 with emotional and mental health difficulties

Concerns were brought to the attention of the headteacher that Onduso had made homophobic comments during lessons on the afternoon of 6 May 2015, the panel's report states.

A witness who gave evidence said pupils had asked Onduso what he thought about rock music and gay people. He was said to have replied that "gay people have a disease" and that "they have something wrong upstairs". He also told a pupil gay people were like animals.

When asked what he had told children about "gay people" earlier in the day, he later said they were "sick in the head".

The head teacher told the hearing she was "shocked" when she twice asked Onduso to clarify his position, with him replying that his Christian beliefs meant he "did not condone what [gay people] do".

Onduso was suspended and later dismissed from the school after it carried out its own internal investigation.

The subsequent National College for Teaching and Leadership panel acknowledged Onduso's behaviour was "out of character" and noted a glowing reference which described him as a Christian who treats people "fairly and with love".

But he was said in the report to have failed to demonstrate any remorse despite acknowledging his comments were homophobic and offensive. Banning him from teaching indefinitely, the panel said his attitudes were "deep-seated ... that lead to harmful behaviour" which further training would not help.