A PRIMARY school in Darwen has become the second in the town to announce it is pulling out of council control to become a sponsored academy.

St James’s Primary School in St James Crescent will come under the control of Cidari, Blackburn Diocese’s multi-academies trust.

It comes as St Barnabas Primary School also recently announced it was to become an academy under the same sponsor.

Chairman of governers Rev Terry Dyer said the transition was now in the hands of the Government.

He said: “We expect it will be finalised in April.”

Rev Dyer said conversion to academy was the only solution for the school and a decision had not been reached lightly.

He said: “It is to do with the political and financial situation and the dwindling support from the council, which is struggling.

“This is the best way forward, especially as this is a church school so it already has strong links to the diocese.

“At first there will not be much change. Our aim is to continue the high standards the school works to.”

A spokesman for the Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education said: “Becoming an academy will bring greater freedom in relation to the curriculum and funding opportunities as well as the best and appropriate ways to organise the school day and the school terms.

“The school has consulted parents and the wider community in making this decision and consultation will continue through the process to becoming an academy.”

Sudell councillor Paul Browne said he was in favour of the move.

He said: “If the parents and governors agree coming out of the local authority is the best thing for the school then I am all for it.”

Coun Dave Harling, executive member for schools, said: “Our role is to ensure a quality education for every child. We’ll continue to work in partnership with St James, and all schools within the borough, to make sure this is achieved.”