THE case of a transgender teenager who is suing a Hereford private school for discrimination has reached court for the first time.

As reported earlier this year, the 16-year-old wants up to £30,000 damages, claiming staff at Hereford Cathedral School told him he was just going through “a phase.”

But the school is fighting the case, insisting it was unaware of his gender reassignment and treated him no differently than any other pupil.

The boy was born female but began living as a boy after being diagnosed with gender dysphoria in his early teens - changing his name and wearing male clothes.

He claims he had to leave the £13,000-a-year school two years ago because staff didn’t recognise his true gender or let him wear boys’ clothes.

Through his mum, he is now suing for alleged discrimination under the 2010 Equality Act and for “injury to his feelings”.

The teenager has suffered “a lot of psychological and emotional problems over the past two years”, a judge heard this week.

The case reached court for the first time as Judge Ian Avent presided over a case management hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, in London.

The judge said the boy was withdrawn from the school “due to an alleged failure by the school to support him in his request to dress as a boy”.

“This was after his GP had supported that request,” his family claims.

But, he added, there is a “significant conflict” over whether the school was “truly aware of his gender reassignment issue, and whether it discriminated against him by treating him less favourably than others”.

In its defence, the school argues that “there wasn’t sufficient material for them to be properly aware of the gender reassignment issue - and that in any event it did not discriminate”.

But the boy and his mother insist that staff were kept fully abreast of his difficulties and of his wish to be treated as a boy.

Judge Avant made preparatory orders for the full hearing of the boy’s claim, which is expected to take place early next year.