BLACKBURN'S Star Academies trust has been officially accredited as a Living Wage Employer.

The organisation will now pay everyone working in its 24 primary and secondary schools a minimum hourly wage of £8.75 (£10.20 in London), higher than the government’s minimum wage for over 25s, currently £7.83 per hour. This means 15 per cent of Star Academies’ 1,850 employees have benefitted from a pay rise.

Star Academies include Blackburn's Tauheedul Islam Girls' and Boys' High Schools, the town's Olive school and Fearns Community Sports College in Stacksteads.

Mufti Hamid Patel, Chief Executive of Star Academies, said: “We recognise that our employees are our greatest asset. The Living Wage principles are closely aligned to our organisational values."

He added: “By paying the Living Wage to our employees and requiring our contractors to do the same, we are setting an example and improving pay conditions."