Page last updated at 19:21 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Two more academy sponsors named

Two more potential sponsors for Stoke-on-Trent's planned academy schools have been announced.

Co-op Travel and Stoke-on-Trent College have expressed interest in running the Brownhills and Park Hall academies respectively.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council said the potential sponsors wanted to work with existing schools "to develop their vision for the future academy".

Five academies are planned under the city's review of secondary education.

Keele and Staffordshire universities will also be involved in helping develop the new academies, the council said.

Under the plans, eight schools - St Peter's, Mitchell, Berry Hill, James Brindley, Edensor, Trentham, Blurton and Brownhills - will merge into five academies.

The city council is planning to cut the number of high schools from 17 to 13 for reasons including falling pupil numbers and the poor condition of older school buildings.

'Vital step'

Ormiston Education, part of a trust helping disadvantaged children, NHS Stoke-on-Trent and the Diocese of Lichfield have also expressed interest in being academy sponsors.

Councillor Roger Ibbs, portfolio holder for children and young people's services, said: "I'm delighted we now have such a diverse and enthusiastic group of organisations and people wanting to take part in this new era of education in Stoke-on-Trent.

"This is another vital step in bringing 21st Century learning to the city's children."

Earlier, it was announced that the government had awarded an extra 1.1m to seven secondary schools in the city.

The money will be split between the city's secondary schools.

A council spokesman said the extra funding was to improve results in maths and English and not for building work.

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