A NEW headteacher has been appointed at Darwen Vale High School and has pledged to turn it from ‘good to great’.

Hilary Torpey is currently head at Glenburn Sports College in Skelmersdale.

She will take over Darwen Vale in September just as a £20million transformation starts under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

Mrs Torpey said she hoped to continue to good work by previous head Lynn Dunning, who died in September after a decade-long battle with cancer.

The 52-year-old said: “I look forward to the challenge of taking the school from being a good one to a great one.

“We have the opportunity to create a first-class learning environment and I want to make sure that we can also transform the lives of the young people who go to school here.

“I want to make sure that every young person achieves and exceeds their potential and will focus particularly on maths and English.

“It has been a very difficult time for the school recently and with the school moving to a new temporary home in Holden Fold while work is being completed there will be more challenges ahead.

“But I am certain that we can build on Lynn Dunning’s legacy and the inspirational work completed by the acting head John Lawson.”

Mr Lawson will retire this summer, but will continue in an advisory role for the next year.

Mrs Torpey, has been at Glenburn for three years and has more than 20 years experience as a teacher, mainly in Merseyside.

She is married to retired teacher Nick and has two grown up children and two grown-up stepsons.

She will continue to live near Ormskirk when she starts at Darwen Vale.

Her current school is on the ‘national challenge’ register because of poor test results.

But she said the fact that it has now been named by Ofsted as a ‘rapidly improving’ school showed her credentials for working in challenging circumstances.