A HEADTEACHER has been charged with historic sexual offences, which allegedly took place while he was working in East Lancashire.

James Bird is accused of four counts of gross indecency with a boy under 16 at an unnamed primary school, Lancashire Police said.

The 52-year-old, of Acorn Close in Leyland, had gone on to become headteacher at Newton Bluecoat CE Primary School, near Preston.

His current school said they were co-operating with the investigation.

Tim Walker, chairman of governors at Newton Bluecoat said: “I can confirm that Mr Bird was suspended when these allegations were made, but cannot comment further as the matter is subject to the legal process.

“With the co-operation of the police, we were able to inform parents of the content of their statement before it was made public, and also reassure them that the charges relate to a former employment.

“We are grateful for the support we have received from the police, the county council and the diocese at this difficult time.

“I am glad to say school life has continued as normal throughout, and our pupils are now enjoying their Easter break.”

Police said the offences were alleged to have been committed against one male victim, aged between nine and 10 at the time, between September 2002 and April 2004.

Bird was bailed to appear before Blackburn magistrates on Tuesday, April 22.