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Last Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008, 14:25 GMT
Schools protest over merger plans
Pupils in a previous protest at the council house
Pupils have protested against the city council's plans
Pupils, parents and staff from two high schools in Stoke-on-Trent have protested over plans to merge them.

People from Berry Hill and Mitchell have walked to Park Hall, the proposed site of the new school, to show how far students would have to walk.

Eight schools could be merged and a final decision is expected on Tuesday.

City council leaders said the changes were necessary due to declining pupil numbers and the worsening condition of school buildings.

'Raise awareness'

Berry Hill High and Mitchell High have made it clear they got their pupils' parents' permission to take them out of lessons for the protest.

Berry Hill's head teacher, Ruth Poppleton, said: "We want to obviously raise awareness before the meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) about the need for there to be a school at the heart of our communities of Bentilee, Berry Hill and Eaton Park.

"What both schools would like and their governing bodies is the two schools to be merged into a new school on the Mitchell site."

The changes, planned to take place between 2009 and 2014, could see eight schools - St Peter's, Mitchell, Berry Hill, James Brindley, Edensor, Trentham, Blurton and Brownhills - merge into five academies.

Longton High School will also be shut in phases with plans for pupils to go to Sandon High School.

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