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Indian Origin UK Teacher Charged For Sex With Pupils

A female teacher at an all-boys school at Birkdale High School, Merseyside near Liverpool,  has been charged with sex offences against two pupils, reports The Mail. Hina Patel, 37, was working as a supply teacher
PTI September 24, 2010 12:48 IST
PTI
A female teacher at an all-boys school at Birkdale High School, Merseyside near Liverpool,  has been charged with sex offences against two pupils, reports The Mail.

Hina Patel, 37, was working as a supply teacher when over a period of several weeks she allegedly engaged two boys, both 16, in sexual acts while at the school.

Patel was employed as a cover supervisor, filling short-term absences of teachers at Birkdale High School, Merseyside, which has 930 pupils aged 11 to 16.

Miss Patel was listed on the school website as being the wellbeing officer for the most junior pupils. She also led pupils in helping to prepare a school magazine.

She was immediately suspended from her position after the allegations emerged earlier this year.

Yesterday she was charged with sexual misconduct against two pupils at the school. Birkdale High, a former secondary modern, has a reputation for academic and sporting excellence.

The school motto is Nihil Nisi Bonum – Only the Best Will Do – and it counts Everton and England Under-21 midfielder Jack Rodwell as a former pupil.

Last night parents spoke of their shock at the alleged offences against the two boys.

One mother said: ‘I am absolutely speechless. With physical sports of all kinds there are all sorts of things a parent can worry about but this is one of the last things you'd expect.

‘Lots of parents are horrified as it is the last thing you would expect from a good school like this one.'

A father said: ‘There are many, many parents who are rightly angry over this. Although the school has acted promptly, there had been some concerns among pupils for some time.'

The boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are said to have been withdrawn from the school.

Although the pupils are thought to be above the age of consent, it is a criminal offence for a person ‘to engage in any sexual activity with a person aged under 18 with whom they have a relationship of trust, irrespective of the age of consent, even if the basis for their relationship is consensual'.

Patel is to appear in court next month on two counts of abusing her position of trust by engaging in sexual activity with a child.

Headmaster Gary Loveridge said the school was fully co-operating with police in their investigations.

He added: ‘We can't say anything because there is no hard and fast information available.

‘If we make any presumptions, it would be liable to wreck any police case.'

A spokesman for Sefton Council added: ‘A member of staff was suspended as soon as these allegations arose and her fixed-term contract has now come to an end.'

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: ‘We can confirm that Hina Patel has been charged with two counts of abusing her position of trust (as a school employee) by sexual activity with a child.'

Patel, who lives in a £200,000 three-bedroomed semi-detached house in Hightown, Merseyside, refused to comment.