Merger battle vow

Open day at KEQMS, Lytham St Annes, prior to the merger between Arnold and KEQMS schools.
Open day at KEQMS, Lytham St Annes, prior to the merger between Arnold and KEQMS schools.
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THE battle to maintain the independence of King Edward and Queen Mary School isn’t over yet.

That was the defiant message this week from the parents behind the long campaign to overturn the merger of the historic Lytham School with Blackpool’s Arnold under the United Church Schools Trust.

With little more than three months to go to the start of the new school year, the UCST are confident the decision signals the final go-ahead for a new era.

But the No To The Takeover group of campaigning parents have claimed such a conclusion is premature.

The parents took their battle to a first tier tribunal hearing in London in April, appealing against the Charity Commission’s approval of the merger under the UCST.

After five weeks of waiting for a decision, the tribunal concluded a new scheme for Lytham Schools Foundation is justified but the actual scheme approved by the Charity Commission is unacceptable.

That prompted UCST chief executive Jon Coles to declare that it brought to an end a period of uncertainty which had caused concern and instability across both schools.

But the parents, who have been waging a near nine-month battle to overturn the merger which is set to go ahead in September, have 28 days to decide their next move and have firmly declared that the battle is not yet at an end.

Full story in this week’s Express.