Teacher denies sex lessons were suggestive

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A former biology teacher today denied making suggestive comments to pupils at a Jewish high school.

Vincent Pedley, 50, was dismissed over claims that he discussed masturbation and oral sex with 15 and 16-year-old boys and girls at the King David High School, Manchester.

Mr Pedley said he had been misquoted and denied the allegations at a resumed industrial tribunal hearing. School governors said he breached guidelines restricting sex education lessons to the mechanics of human reproduction.

"As I heard the allegations, I thought I was dealing with people who had very little idea of modern education," he told the tribunal. He was referring to a meeting at the school in December 1992, shortly before his dismissal, when the claims were put to him. Among the allegations were:

n A pupil had urinated in a classroom laboratory during one of Mr Pedley's lessons after being told to "pee in a bucket".

n Mr Pedley told pupils that taking sex education lessons was a "turn- on".

n Telling girl pupils that "most girls masturbate at some time or other" and boys did it up to 15 times a night.

n Pupils called Mr Pedley a "dickhead" without being rebuked.

n Mr Pedley referred to "giving head" when he spoke about oral sex.

n The teacher told a girl pupil that he could see "right down her cleavage".

Mr Pedley, of Urmston, Greater Manchester, claims unfair dismissal.

He told the tribunal the boy had not urinated in a bucket during a lesson. The boy pretended to relieve himself in a sink and then turned the tap on.

"I did not take the matter further because I could not be sure what happened," Mr Pedley added. He denied saying sex lessons were a "turn-on", but there was a serious question by a girl who asked how adults coped when exposed to a sexual situation. He denied saying he had erections when he first started taking sex lessons.

"My words were taken totally out of context," Mr Pedley said.

He denied using a four-letter word to describe masturbation and said the 15-times-a-night figure was "utterly ridiculous".

Mr Pedley said he had told the class a "considerable proportion of girls would masturbate from time to time" in response to a serious question. He denied he had allowed pupils to call him a "dickhead".

Mr Pedley said he used the term "giving head" because "pupils might not know what the term oral sex meant but they did know the street term".

He admitted complimenting a girl on the top she was wearing, but "emphatically" denied mentioning her cleavage.

The hearing was adjourned until today.