THE head teacher of Bankfield School in Widnes which was branded as ‘inadequate’ has retired.

Carole Owen stepped down yesterday, Thursday, days after the Liverpool Road school was placed in special measures following a scathing Ofsted inspection.

Leadership and management have been criticised for failing to tackle weaknesses, pupils are under achieiving and not being given sufficient opportunities and governors were blamed for failing to monitor the school’s performance.

Mrs Owen told staff at a meeting yesterday afternoon that she had always planned to leave teaching this year when she was 55.

In a statement issued today, Mrs Owen said: "I have waited until this moment to make my intentions public in order to ensure that The Bankfield has stability and continuity through the appointment of the interim executive board (IEB).Now that this is in place, I am confident that I am passing the reins over to an executive board which shares my views and values. They will drive the necessary school improvements.

"I have always considered it to be a privilege to be the head teacher of this school.

“I know that our vision of ‘no child unknown’ has enabled the young people of this community to realise their ambitions; values shared by the IEB who will sustain this ethos.

"The Bankfield will always be in my heart and I hope that parents and carers will support the IEB as they build on the strengths of the school so that The Bankfield continues to ‘bring out the best’ in every young person in our community.

"I have enjoyed the some of the most successful days of my career at The Bankfield.

“The trust, confidence and support that students, parents, carers and staff have given me over the last 10 years have enabled me to do that."

Dad-of-five and former pupil Phil Black, aged 44, of Masefield Avenue, said: “I am happy the school can now move forward.

“We need a fresh start, a new leader and a new vision. The most important thing is to ensure the kids get the best education and achieve their potential.”