Page last updated at 12:45 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 13:45 UK

Academy plan approved by council

Plans to close two secondary schools in Bolton and reopen them as academies have been approved by councillors.

The decision means the start of the process to close Hayward Community Secondary School in Great Lever and Withins Community Secondary School.

Teachers angry at the decision to turn the schools into privately-sponsored academies were striking on Tuesday.

Reacting to the announcement, one teacher told the BBC: "I'm disappointed but not surprised."

The man, who did not want to be named, added: "There was never any question the school would be closed and the academy would go ahead."

Travel company

Bolton Council said the new academies would "raise standards" for pupils and provide them with new buildings, technology and facilities.

It said that the governing bodies of the schools affected supported the establishment of the academies.

Anyone opposed to the proposals can now write to the council outlining their objections before a final decision in December.

Hayward School will become an academy sponsored by the Essa Foundation, a charity set up by local businessmen.

Withins and local primary school Top O' Th' Brow - which will also be closed - will become a joint academy sponsored by the Church of England and David and Anne Crossland, founders of the travel company Airtours.

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