AN academy that was placed in special measures earlier this year after a scathing Ofsted report has confirmed the appointment of a permanent new principal.

Paul Roach, currently headteacher at Mount St Joseph Business and Enterprise College in Bolton, has been handed the position, though his official start date is yet to be agreed.

He succeeds John Gannon, who stepped down in March in the wake of the highly critical inspection by watchdogs.

In the meantime, Mr Roach will work in tandem with Dr David Dennison, the interim principal, to ensure a smooth transition.

The new leader will be take with bringing about rapid improvements, Commenting on the appointment, Frank Cogley, who became chair of Governors following the resignation of Bart McGettrick, said: “The offer of the appointment was absolutely unanimous, reflecting governors' views that there was an excellent match in the vision and values offered by Paul Roach.

“He will bring a wealth of experience and exciting ideas for driving the academy forward in line with the sponsors' original concept.

“Sponsors and Governors are looking forward to achieving with Paul Roach the necessary rapid improvements and high quality secondary education that the local community deserves."

The academy, sponsored by Hope Academy, Liverpool Hope University and the Catholic and Church of England Archdioceses of Liverpool, was formed through a merger of Newton High and St Aelred’s Catholic Technology College in 2012.

But was being scrutinised after its first inspection in April 2013, which ruled it “required improvement”, but the performance deteriorated over the course of the next year.

Findings of an Ofsted visit in February confirmed the school had been classed as “inadequate” and needing special measures to rectify the situation.

Pupils’ achievements, teaching quality, the behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management were all given the lowest rankings.

Now parents are hoping the change of leadership will transform the academy’s early woes.

Parent governor Fran McCaul, spoke of the warmth and approachability that parents, staff and students had found in Mr Roach during what was described as “the exhaustive selection process”.

She said: "We are very happy to have found someone who will be sensitive to the needs of the wider community and who will offer genuine opportunities for closer engagement with their school."