Page last updated at 21:30 GMT, Wednesday, 21 January 2009

City school closures plan backed

Pupils protest over planned school closures in Stoke-on-Trent
Pupils and parents have held many protests against the plans

Controversial plans to merge eight Stoke-on-Trent high schools into five academies have been approved by the city council.

Council leaders decided to shut Trentham High, Berry Hill and Mitchell High as part of a 250m reorganisation.

Parents, teachers and pupils have held many protests over the changes - which will take place between 2009 and 2014.

The decision was taken during a three-hour meeting of the council's executive at the Civic Centre.

Under the plans, five schools - St Peter's, James Brindley, Edensor, Blurton and Brownhills - will take on the pupils of the schools which would shut to create five academies.

Declining numbers

Longton High School would also shut in phases, with plans for pupils to go to Sandon High School.

Campaigners calling for Trentham High to be saved marched last year from the school to Westminster.

A petition was gathered calling for councillors to save the school, refurbish it and allow it to work more closely with St Joseph's College.

City council leaders said the changes were forced by declining pupil numbers and the poor condition of old school buildings.

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