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Tuesday, 12 February, 2002, 09:41 GMT
Gehring admits sex with pupil
Amy Gehring
Amy Gehring is unlikely to teach again in the UK
Teacher Amy Gehring has admitted having sex with a 16-year-old pupil, saying she felt "quite stupid for all of the things I did".

The 26-year-old Canadian was acquitted earlier this month of indecently assaulting two brothers at a Surrey comprehensive where she worked.

But in an interview with the BBC Radio 4's Today programme she has now admitted she slept with a boy at a previous school in Surrey.

Ms Gehring also says she was too drunk to remember if she had slept with a 15-year-old boy at her last school.

These boys weren't stupid - they knew what they were doing

Amy Gehring

Her admission has revived concerns over the system for monitoring supply teachers and whether the agencies that employ them are adequately regulated.

After the trial, it was revealed that Ms Gehring had been investigated before, identified as a "risk" to children, but still allowed to work in another school.

Now Ms Gehring has confirmed some of the substance of the first investigation by admitting she did have sex with a 16-year-old pupil on one occasion.

Children's charity Barnardo's has said that had Ms Gehring committed the sexual acts in 2002, she would now be breaking the law.

Ms Gehring said: "These boys weren't stupid. They knew what they were doing.

"I know the law's there to protect children from criminal activity. They knew what they were doing."

"There is a difference between when I was 15 at home in Canada and 15-year-olds today here. There's a big difference.

Embarassed and ashamed

"At my first school there were 11-year-old kids that were telling me they were having sex."

Ms Gehring said she was embarrassed and ashamed by her behaviour.

"I put myself into situations I shouldn't have at parties because I became close to them.

"I was away from my family in a different country and I was spending most of my time with them. I became one of the kids basically."

It was at her first school that Ms Gehring said she was "too drunk" to remember having slept with the 15-year-old boy.

"The chances are that I could have, but I can't remember doing it. That sounds really bad," she said.

Roger Singleton, chief executive of Barnardo's, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "If the behaviour that the woman (Ms Gehring) described happened yesterday and not last year, she would have broken the law.

Bureaucratic system

"It is now an offence for anyone on a position of trust and responsibility to have any form of sexual relations with someone under 18 who is in the their care."

Shadow education secretary, Damien Green said the system dealing with complaints against teachers needed to be reformed.

He said part of the problem centred on the numbers of supply teachers used in schools.

"I think what you can do is have a system which investigates problems very, very quickly," said Mr Green.

"What we have is a rather slow cumbersome, bureaucratic system which can't cope precisely because there are too may supply teachers in the system."

The BBC's James Westhead
"This will fuel questions about how she could have been allowed back in the classroom"
Amy Gehring, Teacher
"I put myself into situations I should not have"
Damien Green, Shadow Education Secretary
"It is clear in this case the system failed"

Click here for more from Southern Counties
See also:

11 Feb 02 | England
Amy Gehring interview in full
05 Feb 02 | Education
Official delay over sex case teacher
04 Feb 02 | England
Cleared teacher was a 'risk'
04 Feb 02 | Education
Agency admits error over teacher
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