AN acclaimed head teacher has denied historic sex allegations involving a teenage boy.

Anne Lakey is accused of four counts of indecent assault on a male person, one of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency and three of gross indecency with a child.

All the alleged offences are said to have involved the same boy, in the Stanley area of County Durham, between April 30, 1988, and May 19 the following year, when Ms Lakey was in her late 20s.

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She was said to have taken part in a sexual relationship with the boy, who was then aged about 14 and is now in his late 30s.

Although she was working as a teacher at the time, the boy involved was not a pupil at her school.

Her lawyer at an earlier magistrates’ court hearing indicated she would deny the allegations and she pleaded ‘not guilty’ to all eight charges at a short hearing at Durham Crown Court today (Thursday April 17).

Caroline Goodwin, for the Crown, and Julie Clemitson, for the defendant, agreed the trial, in late June, will have an estimated four days’ duration.

Ms Lakey has been suspended from her role as chief executive of The Durham Federation of Schools, since December 2012.

The federation includes Fyndoune Community College, in Sacriston, named among the most improved state secondary schools in the country for each of the past three years, and Durham Community Business College (DCBC), in Ushaw Moor, near Durham, which is regarded a pioneer in the field of vocational education.

Ms Lakey, who entered teaching in 1982, became head teacher at Deerness Valley Comprehensive School, in Ushaw Moor, the forerunner of DCBC, in 2001.

She has been heralded with transforming the fortunes of the school, winning acclaim.

Her reputation led to her being given a “trouble-shooting” role, helping to turn round the performance of failing schools, as part of the National Leaders of Education group, led by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Sir Michael Wilshaw.

Judge Peter Kelson adjourned the hearing and bailed 54-year-old Ms Lakey, of Oxhill Villas, Stanley, to return for the start of her trial, on Monday June 23.