A 52-year-old teacher who sexually assaulted girls under 13 during a six-year-period has been jailed today.

He was also charged with possessing 241 indecent images of children, 11 counts of taking indecent photographs in 2006 and one count of voyeurism - recording a private act - between September 2004 and July 2005.

The man was charged with 17 counts of assault against girls under 13 between 2004 and 2010.

He was jailed for four years at Oxford Crown Court after admitting to a string of sexual offences against children.

The charges relate to a primary school in South Oxfordshire - which cannot be identified for legal reasons - where the man worked as a teacher while he preyed on his victims.

Of the 67 children assessed by police, 12 were interviewed as part of a lengthy and complex investigation.

Baljit Ubhey, chief crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service said: "This case involved the serious sexual abuse of children at a school in Oxfordshire.

"The man was a trusted member of the teaching staff at the school where the complainants were pupils. The young age of the victims greatly increases the seriousness of the offences.

"Not only did he breach the trust of the pupils at the school, their parents and the staff, he also abused his position of authority in order to gain access to his victims."

Mrs Ubhey paid tribute to the victims in this case and their strength in coming forward.

He said: "This has clearly been a difficult time for them, their family, and the staff at the school."

“This conviction serves as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these that they should come forward regardless of when the offence occurred.

“The sentence imposed today recognises the seriousness of the offences and the vulnerability of the victims.

"The impact of this man’s offending on the victims is impossible to quantify. I hope that the sentence gives some comfort to the victims involved, so that they can now put this unpleasant episode behind them and move on with their lives. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time."

Det Ch Insp Andy Bird said “I would like to thank all those children who came forward and spoke to the police. Their courage and bravery means that we can now protect the wider community and ensure that they receive appropriate support. The actions of these children is truly commendable.

“I would also like to thank the school who have been very supportive throughout our investigation.

“This resulted in charges of contact offending against 10 children with offences against a further seven children being asked to be taken into consideration.

“Offences of the type uncovered in this investigation are amongst the most serious criminal offences committed against vulnerable young children in their primary school.

"Thames Valley Police are committed to protecting the vulnerable; we will relentlessly pursue those that commit this type of crime and bring them to justice."