A teacher accused of raping two underage students has fronted a court for the first time.
The alleged offences date back to the 1990s when she was 27, and working at an all-boys school.
Gaye-Lee McKeown was a teacher for more than two decades, which is the same length of time she now faces behind bars.
Now 47, McKeown is alleged to have raped and indecently assaulted two students while teaching at Birrong Boys High School during the 1990s.
Police say the alleged offences happened at the school, at Picnic Point, Yagoona, Panania, Wollongong, Condell Park, Gerroa and Ryde.
McKeown was only charged in December of last year.
By then, she had moved onto Macquarie Fields Public and most recently, was teaching at Bankstown Senior College.
In a statement, the Education Department said the teacher had been suspended from duty.
She will not return to a classroom before the conclusion of criminal proceedings.
Court documents show McKeown was allegedly abusing one of the students for about 10 months before she is alleged to have moved onto the other.
In total she has been charged with 21 offences, some of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail.
The matter will return to court in March.