A FORMER Muswellbrook High School teacher has been charged with child sex offences against two former students in the 1970s and 1980s.

John Kendrew Bradbury, 79, was charged by Hunter Valley detectives with six counts of indecently assaulting two students under 16 years of age and one count of sexual assault.

He has not entered a plea and was granted bail.

Mr Bradbury, a woodwork and industrial arts teacher, is alleged to have committed offences against a student, 13, in the early 1970s, and a second student in the early 1980s.

He was charged by Hunter Valley detectives based at Muswellbrook and appeared in Coffs Harbour Local Court in November.

The matter will return to Coffs Harbour Court on January 23.

In a statement to police the parent of one of the students alleges that she told a senior Department of Education employee in the early 1970s that her son alleged he had been sexually abused.

In a statement on Wednesday the NSW Department of Education said it was the responsibility of schools in the 1970s to receive and investigate complaints and “ascertain if they were well founded”.

“All complaints of a serious nature were to be brought to the attention of the department, and of a criminal nature to the police,” a department spokesperson said.

“In the 1970s it was departmental policy that any matters concerning the unsatisfactory conduct of an employee working at a school was to be reported to the department through the appropriate channels so that appropriate corrective action could be taken.

“More rigorous sexual abuse reporting requirements were introduced in the 1980s, and have been progressively strengthened since then.”

In a statement on Wednesday NSW Police Media said it encouraged any person alleging they had been the victim of sexual assault offences to come forward and report matters to police no matter how long ago the incident occurred.

Reports can be made at any police station, the Police Media spokesperson said.

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