Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Blackburn is becoming an Anglican academy

A Catholic primary school in Blackburn is becoming a Church of England academy due to falling numbers of Catholic pupils.

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School in Lynwood Road, Blackburn, Lancashire will no longer be under the local council’s control but be sponsored by the Cidari Trust, which was established by Blackburn Diocese to run academies.

Fred Kershaw, deputy director of education for the Diocese of Blackburn, said the Secretary of State for Education “has agreed to the process taking place”.

Sacred Heart school is currently overseen by the Catholic diocese of Salford.

Canon Tony McBride, who is responsible for schools and colleges in the diocese, said the move had been “a complicated process” but was good new.

“Over the past 10 or 15 years, gradually the numbers of Roman Catholic children has dwindled in this area of Blackburn. There’s no demand in the Catholic community for Catholic schooling,” he said.

“We welcome [the move] as it serves the particular needs of this part of Blackburn in a way Sacred Heart obviously didn’t.

“They will have a slightly different RE syllabus, but the children won’t see much of a difference.”