Longton High to close in 2010
FAMILIES have been dealt a major blow after plans were
approved to close the first of four high schools in
The decision means Longton High, in Meir, will stop taking
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new pupils from summer 2009.
It will shut as a school in its own right in August
Current pupils will be able to see out their education on
the Longton site, but will eventually become the responsibility
of nearby Sandon High.
The final nail in Longton's coffin came at a meeting of
Stoke-on-Trent City Council's executive and members board
It is unclear at this stage whether the authority will face
a legal challenge.
But parents and governors today vowed to continue fighting
until a litany of concerns are addressed.
Longton is the first school to close as part of
Stoke-on-Trent's £250 million Building Schools for the Future
Decisions over whether to shut Trentham High, Berry Hill
High, and Mitchell Business and Enterprise College, in
Bucknall, won't be made until next year.
Helen Hammond, from Meir Hay, has a 13-year-old son at
Longton High who will be caught up in the reorganisation.
She said: "He will be going into Year 11, his GCSE year, as
the school closes. I don't think that Sandon will care about
the children at Longton."
Roger Ibbs, the council's portfolio holder for children and
young people's services, stressed the decision to shut Longton
was based on pupil numbers and not on current education
He said: "It has the capacity to educate 900 pupils, but the
roll fell to 452 in January this year. It is likely to be below
400 this September."
The council is planning to expand the rebuilt Sandon High to
accommodate extra pupils.
It will cost £500,000 – on top of the £17 million already
spent on the new building – to do this.
But officials say more than £970,000 in a year will be saved
by shutting Longton.
Longton High's catchment area will be carved up between
Sandon and Edensor Technology College, in Longton.
Edensor is also due to be replaced with an academy in three
years' time on a new site at Park Hall.
Its staff will automatically be offered jobs in the new
academy because their school has been designated the
But there has been uproar that staff in other
closure-threatened schools, including Longton, have not been
given a similar option.
Academies employ their own staff, so are not duty bound to
accept the council's protocol for redeploying teachers.
Tony Walley, vice-chairman of governors at Longton High,
said: "Our main issue now is the fight for Longton staff to be
treated on a level playing field for jobs at the new