THE headteacher of a new academy has quit just two days into the new school year.

The resignation of Helen Stead was announced to pupils at The Valley Leadership Academy in Stacksteads at this morning's assembly.

The former Fearns Community Sports College was transferred from Lancashire County Council to Star Academies, the Blackburn-based organisation created following the success of the town's Tauheedul Islamic schools, in July.

This week was the first under its new management after Fearns received its third consecutive inadequate rating from Ofsted inspectors in March.

Alyson Middlemass, formerly head of Star Academies' outstanding-rated Eden Boys’ School in Preston, will become The Valley's executive principal while a replacement for Mrs Stead is recruited.

A school spokesman said: “Mrs Stead has left the academy due to personal circumstances. We wish to thank Mrs Stead for her commitment and service over the last 14 years.

“We have begun a national campaign to recruit an outstanding leader as our new principal, who will lead the academy to secure the very best outcomes.

“It is an exciting time for the school. We are working hard to achieve rapid improvements.

Governor and Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry said: “I’m delighted that Fearns has now officially converted to The Valley Leadership Academy."

Sarah Davies, chair of governors, said: "I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Star Academies to establish The Valley Leadership Academy as a great choice for parents and students in the Rossendale area. With the new leadership arrangements, the school will thrive and I'm excited about the challenges ahead."