BBC children's series Grange Hill is to end after more than 30 years of broadcasting, it has been confirmed.

As part of a new schedule for CBBC, controller Anne Gilchrist announced the school drama is to end, citing a desire to produce more contemporary programming.

The show will conclude at the end of this year's series, which is likely to concentrate on the exploits of the school's year six pupils.

"The lives of children have changed a great deal since Grange Hill began and we owe it to our audience to reflect this," Gilchrist said.

She added: "Part of CBBC's reputation for reflecting contemporary Britain back to UK children has been built upon Phil Redmond's brilliantly realised idea and of course it's sad to say goodbye to such a much loved institution."

Redmond - also the creator of Hollyoaks - recently told the Observer newspaper he felt the show had begun to neglect its original aims of reflecting controversial social issues such as drug use and teenage pregnancy.

"I don't like keeping things going when the point has been lost," he said.

"I do now think the point of Grange Hill has been lost, and 30 years is a nice time for it to hang up its mortar board."

The show launched the careers of future acting stars such as Sean Maguire, Todd Carty and Susan Tully and spawned a top ten single after the 1986 storyline in which Zammo began using drugs.

Jon East, head of CBBC drama, commented: "For 30 years, Grange Hill has become a byword for realistic and contemporary children's drama. It's now time to apply what we've learned over the years to some of the new ideas we're exploring."

06/02/2008 14:01:03