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Last Updated: Monday, 4 July 2005, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
Rape pupil 'needs help' - victim
The teacher, whose identity is being protected
The teacher, whose identity is being protected, hopes to return to teaching
The teacher raped in her classroom by a schoolboy - who has been jailed for life - has said she might not have suffered had he received help sooner.

Her union, the NUT, said the boy's history of violent behaviour raised issues which needed examining.

The teacher said she could now begin to put her life back together, and hoped to return to teaching, which she loved.

She said children were "the most rewarding people to work with" but might find it hard to teach teenagers.

"You know that even if you have just made a small difference, you have made more of a difference in your one day in the classroom than you would have made elsewhere. It's a wonderful feeling," she said.

Issues raised

The 28-year-old teacher, who cannot be named for legal reasons, issued a statement through the National Union of Teachers, whose support she praised along with that of a sexual assault referral centre.

She encouraged more women to use their services to get help to bring attackers to justice.

She said the weeks of delay between the boy's conviction and his sentencing had been hard to cope with.

I am glad the boy has been given a lengthy period of incarceration - not out of vengeance but to protect others from what I have been through
The teacher

"I am glad the boy has been given a lengthy period of incarceration - not out of vengeance but to protect others from what I have been through. "Incarceration alone is not enough. He needs help and treatment," she said.

"Had he received that help and treatment at an earlier stage, maybe I would not have suffered at his hands."

Her union's general secretary, Steve Sinnott, said: "This boy had a history of violent behaviour and was the main suspect in an earlier sexual attack on a member of the school's staff.

"Questions still have to be answered: why was this boy still in the school, what did the school know and what action has been taken to deal with this boy's behaviour in the past?"

Why was this boy still in the school, what did the school know and what action has been taken to deal with this boy's behaviour in the past?
Steve Sinnott
National Union of Teachers

The NUT had arranged a meeting with the school.

"I am concerned to ensure that teachers, pupils and all staff involved in any school are not put at risk because of inaction or a failure of communication," he said.

In a statement the school and its local education authority, Westminster City Council, said the police were reviewing the case to see if any lessons could be learned.

"The teaching staff, pupils and support staff continue to be offered counselling and guidance and the school now hopes to move forward from this dreadful but isolated incident."

'Making a difference'

The teacher also gave a single interview, to the Press Association news agency.

She said she loved teaching. Children were "the most rewarding people to work with".

But she would from now on be very cautious about the degree of strain she put herself under.

"Maybe one day I will go back to teaching teenagers, who are an under-appreciated lot," she said.

"They are an unformed type of people, but they are wonderful to work with and extremely rewarding."




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