AN "excited" headteacher has vowed Pensnett High School will "live on" as it's set to merge to form an academy as part of a £200 million schools shake-up.

Under the radical overhaul of borough schools, all students and staff from the Tiled House Lane school will join their counterparts at The Crestwood School site in Kingswinford at a new state-of-the-art academy.

Now both schools are already joining forces ahead of the proposed merger with students and staff starting to forge bonds as work gets under way behind the scenes.

A name for the new academy is also in the pipeline.

Holly Hall Maths and Computing College will also make way for an academy on its current Scotts Green Close site.

Each of the new academy sites will contain places for 900 students, aged 11 to 16, and offer innovative facilities for the community out of school hours.

The proposals went before Dudley Council's cabinet last Wednesday. If given the government go-ahead the two new academies, set to be built under the national Building Schools for the Future' scheme, will open their doors in September 2010.

Every secondary school in the borough apart from Bishop Milner Catholic School, Summerhill School and Oldswinford Hospital, who have already received makeovers, will be in line for improvements.

Pensnett Headteacher Dr Sue Bains hailed the school's future transformation. She said: "Pensnett will live on. I'm really excited about it.

"This merger is really exciting for Pensnett, Brockmoor and Kingswinford south.

"We're not closing, we're merging with Crestwood. Neither school will take their name to the new academy.

"The work starts now. We're making plans to join up the two schools already.

"The students are planning their futures and the futures of their children. They are really excited about the merger.

"At Pensnett School we do serve quite a challenging area. Nobody wants there to be a hole in the centre of Pensnett. Things will be taken from Pensnett to the academy.

"It's a massive investment in this area, something I totally welcome and is well overdue. There is fantastic talent at this school."