THE sound of the end of term bell also heralded the end of Pensnett High School as it bid farewell to members of staff and its youngest pupils.

There were many tears shed as the class of 2010 poignantly hung their school ties on the railings as they said goodbye to their school.

The Tiled House Lane school is being closed to new pupils after Dudley Council decided to shut it down, claiming it was educationally and economically unviable.

But following consultation with parents, who voiced their concerns that their children’s education would be disrupted in a move to a new school during important exam years, the authority has decided to keep it open for the next two years, at a cost of £600,000.

Renaming it Pensnett 14 - 19 Education Campus, the facility will cater for 140 pupils in years 10 and 11, who are studying their GCSEs, with the younger years 7 and 8, relocating to new schools from September.

However fewer pupil numbers has resulted in a need for less teachers, with all the staff having to be interviewed for their jobs.

Many teachers, some who have been teaching at the school for many years, also left for the final time including headteacher Dave Wood.

School spokesman, Kath Cooper, said: “It was a hugely emotional day, there was a lot of tears as there were a lot of people to say goodbye to.

She added: “We are also losing Mr Wood, our headteacher, who will be sadly and greatly missed here. He has been very popular with staff and students, but he will be coming back for results day, which incidently is due to be our best result year yet.”

School deputy head, Paul Taylor, is set to become head of campus from September.

A spokesman for Dudley Council said: “We have been working extremely hard to ensure pupils have access to the very best education during this transitional period.

All of years 7 and 8 pupils were offered alternative schools, and have now been matched up with their first choices. Following parental consultations the council agreed to continue the education of pupils in years 9 and 10 on the Pensnett site in order they would have continuity of learning until they reach the statutory school leaving age.

“The site will continue to be staffed and resourced to continue educating years 9 and 10 pupils for the next two years. The school will operate as an annex under the auspices of the local authority key stage four provision.”