THE headteacher of a school placed in special measures this year has resigned.

Nigel Dawson will step aside from his role at Fearns Community Sports College, in Stacksteads, on December 31 after more than four years in the job. Three teachers will also quit at the end of the term. Two others left after a critical Ofsted inspection report in June.


Jo Venn, an associate headteacher at the Fearns Moss school, will become acting headteacher when Mr Dawson leaves.

Miss Venn, formerly in charge of Balshaw’s High School in Leyland for almost two decades, retired this year before being drafted in to oversee changes at Fearns.

She said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with staff and pupils this term and Fearns has all the attributes to make it a good school. The staff want the best for each individual and we now need to ensure that the parents and the young people are fully on board to meet the challenges that lie ahead over the next two terms.”

Mr Dawson, who served four years as deputy head before taking on the top job, said in a letter to parents that he looks forward to hearing about pupils’ successes in the future.

He said: “I would like to thank parents and pupils for their support during my time at the school and wish you all well for the future. I have no doubt that the new term will see many exciting developments as the school continues to make the required progress.”

A damning inspection report following a visit by Ofsted inspectors in April and May criticised inadequate teaching and poor governance at the school, which had previously been rated satisfactory since 2005.

The latest follow-up report praised teachers for working hard to improve pupils’ learning and said behaviour was “generally improving”.

Shirley Gornall, lead inspector, said: “The school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.”

The school has appointed two new governors. And a new committee structure has been adopted by the governing body, which will seek to find a permanent successor to Mr Dawson in early 2015.