Social work, controversial views and fitness to practise: Ngole in the Court of Appeal


Felix Ngole, a second-year Master’s student on a social work course at Sheffield University, is “a devout Christian for whom the Bible is the authoritative word of God” [7]. He was excluded from the course by the Faculty of Social Sciences Fitness to Practise [‘FTP’] Committee after comments he posted on Facebook about his personal opposition to same-sex marriage. Before the Administrative Court, he argued that fitness to practise was a matter for the professional social work bodies rather than for the University. In R (Ngole) v University of Sheffield [2017] EWHC 2669 (Admin). Rowena Collins Rice, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, rejected his claim: we noted the judgment here.

Mr Ngole appealed; and in R (Ngole) v The University of Sheffield [2019] EWCA Civ 1127, in a single judgment the Court allowed the appeal and remitted his case for reconsideration.


Helpfully, the reasons for the judgment are summarised by the Court at [5] as follows:

Continue reading