A HEADTEACHER whose school was named the best in the county is to step down.

David Burton, who took over Sir John Thursby Community College in Burnley five-and-a-half-years-ago, is to become head of leading school Canon Slade in Bolton.

During his time Sir John Thursby has been upgraded from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ by education watchdog Ofsted.

The school was was named Lancashire’s Secondary School of the year and also runner-up for the Most Inspirational School in the North West.

Governors at the Eastern Avenue school described Mr Burton as kind, dedicated and enthusiastic.

Mr Burton studied at Oxford University and went on to teach sciences. He has worked in a number of secondary schools and contributed his views to parliament’s education select committee.

He said: “I have loved working at Sir John Thursby for the last five and a half years.

“We have been supported by an excellent staff team, great students, supportive parents, effective governors and our wonderful community.

“We are all delighted that progress and attainment for students has increased so much and is predicted to continue to increase in the future.

“At Sir John Thursby, more students than ever are coming to join us in year seven and we are full and oversubscribed in each year group.”

He said he was excited by the opportunity to continue to improve Canon Slade, which was rated ‘outstanding’ in 2012.

He said: “I have led two sixth forms in the past and Canon Slade’s Church of England ethos is important to me.

“I have been impressed by its achievements in sport and the arts.

“I have also been delighted by its successes in helping students to gain entry to the best universities.

“Most importantly, I am looking forward to meeting the students, staff, parents and governors so together we can build an exciting vision for the future for every Canon Slade student.”

Ruth Thompson, the Burnley school's chairman of governors, said: “Mr Burton has led the team to make this a good school where pupils make so much progress, where pupils grow and flourish and where everyone is cared for.

“We all owe Mr Burton so much for his kindness, expertise, enthusiasm and absolute dedication.”