THE HEADTEACHER at a trouble-hit school ‘will not return’, it has been revealed.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has confirmed headteacher Cherry Ridgway has permanently left Pleckgate High School in Blackburn.

The school, found to be failing by Ofsted, was described as rife with ‘a culture of mistrust’ between the head and some members of staff.

Confirmation of her employment at Pleckgate ending came from the education authority which said it was unable to comment more specifically upon an individual’s employment.

Both the school and the council said the focus was now on delivering the improvements the school requires.

Former chairman of governors Aziz Hazari said he was pleased a plan to ‘move on’ was now in place.

The governors were replaced by a council-run interim executive board when Ofsted rated the school Inadequate.

A joint statement from acting head Mark Bradshaw and chairman of the Interim Executive Board John Banks said: “Cherry Ridgway will not be returning to her post as headteacher.

“Mark Bradshaw will continue as acting head and is fully committed to continued school improvement.”

However parents said they felt uninformed.

Parent Sajjad Shah said: “We still have absolutely no idea what happened. It’s good that there seems to be a plan to move forward but we were not in the loop.”

Former chair of governors Aziz Hazari, who remains a member of the interim board, said: “It’s good to move on from both perspectives. Cherry leaving the school is a positive move both for her and the school itself I think. It is the first step to getting the school back to normality.

“If you go into school you can feel how much morale for both pupils and staff has improved.”

Former head of geography Dave Isherwood, who worked at Pleckgate for 20 years, said: “The school went from Good with Oustanding features to Inadequate which was a blow to everyone who cared about the school.

“Teachers I speak with are now really pleased there is a chance to move on and are determined to get the school out of special measures.”

A Blackburn with Darwen Council spokesman said: “Our focus as you would expect is on supporting the Interim Executive Board, and acting head teacher on their journey of continued school improvement in the best interests of the young people at the school.”

Cherry Ridgway was unavailable for comment.