AN MP has thrown her weight behind a campaign to keep a popular school open.

Barbara Keeley, who represents Worsley, has slammed the move by Salford Council to close St George's RC High School in Walkden as "ill-thought out".

This week, she sent every pupil a letter informing them of why she was backing the campaign.

The school, in Parsonage Drive, is facing the axe under a controversial shake-up of education.

Proposals by Salford Council which could result in the closure of St George's RC High in Walkden have been approved by the Government which is giving the council £150 million for education.

Under Salford Council's reorganisation plans, some schools are being extended and refurbished, while St George's is the only school being closed.

The proposals will now go out to formal consultation before a final decision is made.

But parents, school staff and ex-pupils are determined their campaign to keep the school open will be a success.

Headteacher Philip Harte said: "We have had an excellent working relationship with Barbara Keeley since the Building Schools for the Future debacle began.

"I think it is a marvellous gesture for Barbara to write to each and everyone of our pupils. She has demonstrated her support to St George's time and time again over the past 12 months.

"The whole school community appreciates all her efforts past, present and future."

Deputy headteacher Pete Fisher said: "Barbara has recognised that the shadow of uncertainty will have an adverse effect on young people, whereas, Salford City Council has ignored the emotional needs of our pupils."

In her letter, the MP pays tribute to the school's success both in terms of year-on-year improvements in exam results and its role in the local community.

Ms Keeley said: "As the school year ends, and the pupils begin their summer break, I thought it was important to remind them that their school has a great deal of support throughout, and that there is still a long way to go before a final decision is made.

"When the closure proposals were first announced, a lot of pupils from St George's wrote to me to say how much they thought of their school, and how strongly they felt about keeping it open, so I thought it was only right to keep them up to date."