The headteacher of one of the country’s most improved secondary schools has been charged with a string of sexual offences against a child.
Anne Lakey, who is chief executive of the Durham Federation of Schools, who had been suspended since last December, has been charged with eight allegations relating to a boy aged under 16.
The Crown Prosecution Service said Mrs Lakey faces four counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency and two counts of incitement to commit gross indecency, all involving the same boy and said to have taken place between April 1988 and May 1989.
The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was not a pupil at any school where Mrs Lakey had worked.
The Durham Federation of Schools includes two schools, Durham Community Business College, which is in Ushaw Moor, and Fyndoune Community College, which is in Sacriston.
Last year Fyndoune Community College became the most improved school in the country for GCSE results and both schools have also been rated outstanding by school inspectors Ofsted.
Mrs Lakey, who has been a teacher since 1982, was deemed a national pioneer in schooling and held in high regard by politicians and education officials alike.
Caroline O’Neill, head of education at Durham County Council, said the charges are clearly very concerning.
She said: “They are historic in nature and do not relate to any pupils who have attended or currently attend Durham Federation or to pupils at any other school at which Mrs Lakey has been employed.
“They refer to allegations regarding offences said to have occurred in 1988 and 1989.
“I would like to reassure everyone that we will continue to offer our support to parents, pupils and the school to ensure that the education and wellbeing of young people is not affected. Given that there are criminal proceedings it is not possible to comment further.”