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Monday, 11 February, 2002, 11:29 GMT
Tories voice supply teacher worries
Amy Gehring
Amy Gehring is unlikely to teach again in the UK
Reliance on supply teachers is at the root of many of the schools system's problems, says Conservative education spokesman Damian Green in the wake of the Amy Gehring controversy.

Teacher Ms Gehring, who was last week acquitted of indecent assault, has admitted having sex with a 16-year-old pupil and says she was too drunk to remember if she had slept with a 15-year-old boy at her last school.

 Click here to listen to full interview

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Green said Ms Gehring's own story showed her to be totally unsuitable as a supply teacher.

"I am sure every parent will find that interview with her terrifying," he said, pointing to wider problems with the supply teacher system.

Supply teacher reliance

The shadow education secretary argued there needed to be quicker ways of investigating problems with supply teachers.

"We have a rather slow and cumbersome bureaucratic system which cannot cope precisely because there are so many supply teachers in the system," said Mr Green.

"That is the root cause of the problem - that very many schools now have to rely on the provision of supply teachers just to prevent children being sent home."

A quicker complaints system could both protect children and, more commonly, teachers where they faced false allegations.

See also:

04 Feb 02 | England
Cleared teacher was a 'risk'
04 Feb 02 | Education
Agency admits error over teacher
22 Jan 02 | England
Pupil's 'toilet sex' with teacher
29 Jan 02 | England
Boys 'offered money' for story
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