A protester against the plans joined others outside the Town Hall
Planning permission has been refused for an academy which would replace three Stoke-on-Trent secondary schools.
The 20:20 Discovery Academy would have been built on public space in Adderley Green, also known as Springfield.
Protesters met outside the town hall, one dressed as Bart Simpson, as the site shares its name with the home town of characters in the US comedy show.
A council spokesman said they were disappointed with the outcome but would submit a revised application next year.
The council has said it wants to refurbish or rebuild every secondary and special school in the city.
It revealed plans to merge seven schools into five academies last year as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme in the city.
Mitchell High School, Berry Hill High and Edensor Technology College would have closed and pupils transferred to the new academy as part the application.