STAFF at Darwen Vale High School have walked out this morning over plans to turn the school into an academy.

Members of the National Union of Teachers and National Union of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers have been joined by concerned parents on the picket line.

Passing drivers beeped their horns as they went past the Blackburn Road school where staff held banners that read ‘Darwen Vale must remain Darwen Vale’, ‘Support our school’ and ‘No Aldridge academy here’.

The strike comes as the Department for Education has enforced academy status on the school following an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted report last year, despite an improved set of GCSE results and a positive follow-up inspection report.

There are also concerns at the DfE’s preferred sponsor The Aldridge Foundation, which runs Darwen’s other high schools Darwen Academy and Darwen Enterprise Studio.

For more on this story, see tomorrow’s Lancashire Telegraph.