A SCHOOL has staged its own Popstars competition to find a budding star among its ranks.

For the last three month, Pelton Junior School has been staging Popstars - The Kids contest.

About 45 of the school's 200 pupils entered the competition, singing songs by everyone from Britney Spears to Elton John.

A panel of judges then whittled down the contestants to a final four, who sang for the Popstars title at a show in the Pelton school on Tuesday, at 7pm.

The finalists had to sing in front of an audience of more than 200 children and parents and an independent panel of judges.

The judges included a specialist music inspector from Durham County Council, a former music co-ordinator at the school and the head teacher of a Gateshead school.

The overall winner was nine-year-old Chloe Rippon, who sang a song by Phil Collins.

The school's music co-ordinator Edward Jackson said: "It was very, very close at the end and they had to pick the winner on a points score."