A highly-regarded head teacher is to face a trial on charges of sex offences on a young boy.
Anne Lakey denies two counts of inciting a boy under 16 to commit an act of gross indecency, two counts of gross indecency on a boy under 16 and four counts of indecent assault on a boy under 16.
The 54-year-old won national recognition as chief executive of the Durham Federation of Schools after overseeing the biggest improvement in GCSE results in the country.
The eight alleged offences are said to have been committed on a boy under 16 during a 12-month period in the late 1980s were read out.
Mrs Lakey would have been a teacher in her 20s at the time, but it is understood that the alleged victim was not a pupil.
She appeared at Durham Crown Court yesterday for a short hearing where a trial date was organised.
It is understood that Mrs Lakey was suspended from work in December pending the outcome of the case.
The federation where Mrs Lakey was chief includes Durham Community Business College in Ushaw Moor and Fyndoune Community College in Sacriston.
Prior to this, Mrs Lakey began teaching in 1982 and was appointed head teacher at Deerness Valley Comprehensive School, in Ushaw Moor, near Durham, in 2001.
Fyndoune was last year named the country’s most improved secondary school after the number of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs, including maths and English, rose from 26% to 80%.
Both colleges were judged “outstanding” by Ofsted school inspectors in 2011.
Mrs Lakey’s trial will take place on June 23. A plea and case management hearing is also scheduled for April 17.