Over 800 students walked out of St Aelreds Catholic Technology College in St Helens, Merseyside, on Thursday of last week. The students were protesting over a planned merger with Newton High School and the creation of a new academy at the Newton High site.
The Tory and Liberal Democrat executive on St Helen’s council voted last February to approve the publication of statutory notices that propose the closure of St Aelreds and Newton High.
The council has said that the proposed academy would have a strong Christian ethos. Its sponsors include the Liverpool Catholic Archdiocese and the Church of England Diocese of Liverpool.
A six-week “consultation” period ended last week, which students marked by walking out in protest at the plans.
There is a widespread feeling among students that they have not been given a say in the plans, and that any extra money to be spent on education should be spent on improvements for the existing schools – not on a new academy.
There has also been popular opposition among parents and teachers.