Lancashire

Temporary head appointed for Darwen Vale High School

Teachers outside the school on Thursday
Image caption Members of teaching unions held a strike last month over pupil behaviour

A temporary head teacher has been appointed at a secondary school where the head was suspended after teachers went on strike over pupils' behaviour.

Hilary Torpey, head of Darwen Vale High School, in Lancashire, is currently suspended pending an investigation, Blackburn with Darwen Council said.

John Lawson, who was appointed interim head when a previous head teacher at the school died, is now in charge.

He will be supported by associate head teacher Jean McGrath.

The pair worked together previously when Mr Lawson was head at the neighbouring Southlands High School.

Mr Lawson said: "Darwen Vale is a good school that has excellent staff and pupils of which I have first-hand experience and remain passionate about.

The school's governors have previously said that Ms Torpey's suspension was a neutral move, and did not imply guilt.

Bullying claims

Members of teaching unions had claimed management were not supporting staff in dealing with pupils' bad behaviour.

Unions have claimed pupils have physically and verbally abused staff, filmed lessons on mobile phones and threatened to post them online.

There have also been allegations of cyber bullying and pornography use.

Darwen Vale High School is currently being rebuilt and is due to reopen in September 2012.

Pupils are being taught temporarily at former Holden Fold school buildings.

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