A HEADTEACHER of an ‘inadequate’ secondary school that is set to become an academy has resigned.

Tim Mitchell has stepped down from his post at Norden High School and Sports College in Rishton, after five years in charge.

The Stourton Street school was given the lowest-possible rating last July by Ofsted and placed into special measures.

Norden will become a United Learning academy in September. The organisation already runs Accrington Academy.

In a letter to pupils, chairman of governors Elaine Lockwood said: “After five years in the role Mr Mitchell has decided the time has come to leave Norden in order to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

“With the school set to join United Learning in September, he felt that now would be the best time for a change in leadership.

“On behalf of the governors, may I thank Mr Mitchell for his service to our school, record our appreciation of his professionalism, commitment and integrity during his time here and wish him every success in the future.”

Andy O’Brien, principal of Accrington Academy, will work alongside Norden’s senior leadership team to support them before a new headteacher is appointed.

Ofsted inspectors issued a scathing report in July stating the teaching at the school was ‘not good enough’ and standards in maths and a range of other subjects were too low.

Mr Mitchell hit back at the education watchdog at the time saying the report contained ‘inaccuracies’ and ‘contradicted previous external judgements that have recognised the journey of improvement the school is on’.

Miss Lockwood said: “The summer term is obviously a very important time in the school year, with many of our students taking public examinations.

“We are therefore pleased that United Learning has agreed to our request for interim support leadership.”

Inspectors also raised concerns about inconsistent assessment at the school, low attendance among disadvantaged pupils and the management of pupils’ behaviour.

Ofsted also accused governors of not holding senior leaders to account stringently enough.