THE headteacher of a failing school has resigned.

Andrew Mackenzie will leave Shuttleworth College in Burnley tomorrow, just weeks after it was placed in special measures by Ofsted.

It was the second Burnley school created under Lancashire County Council's £250million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme to be labelled as inadequate since they opened in 2006.

Mr Mackenzie said his decision was based on what was best for both the school and his health, but said he was still "totally committed" to Shuttleworth and had "absolute faith" in the BSF scheme.

Lancashire County Council said a replacement will be found "as soon as possible", which will give the school "the chance of a fresh start".

Mr Mackenzie, who has been teaching for 31 years, said: "I was disappointed with the outcome of the Ofsted inspection, and my decision was partly based on that.

"Going into special measures is a major enterprise and in light of that I reviewed my position.

"But it was not just a knee-jerk reaction to the Ofsted report, it was a very big decision and one I thought about carefully.

"I truly think that this is in the best interests of the school, to have somebody new to come in and work directly with the agenda to get out of special measures."

Shuttleworth College opened in September 2006 on a temporary site at the former Habergham High Sixth Form in Kiddrow Lane.

Mr Mackenzie, 53, who lives in Ribble Valley with his wife with whom he has two adult children, said: "The last three or four years have been a very hard period, a reorganisation of this size is always going to be difficult, but we had the added challenge of moving into a completely different building, plus a new staff from eight different schools.

"Those initial issues have been addressed and the school is strengthening now, and I am totally committed to supporting Shuttleworth College to move out of special measures as soon as possible.

"But, also as a result of concerns I have for my own health, I believe it's best I move away from it.

"I haven't had a day off for illness since I started, but I wouldn't want to stay with the risk that I would have to be absent in the future."

He dismissed the suggestion that the BSF scheme had been harder than anticipated.

"All of the heads knew we would be in for major challenges and by and large I don't think it has been more difficult that we expected.

"I wasn't necessarily planning to leave, but in my career I have not tended to stay for more than four or five years. I have spent 10 years in headship and it will be nice to have a change."

Mr Mackenzie is leaving six months before the brand new school building is to open in Burnley Road, Padiham.

County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "I would like to thank Andrew for his service.

"His decision to leave now gives the staff, pupils, and governors of Shuttleworth College the chance of a fresh start as they move into their new building in September."