Parents’ vow in legal fight

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.

THERE is more confusion and dissastifaction than ever among parents from both King Edward and Queen Mary and Blackpool’s Arnold Schools.

Almost six months on from the merger between the two schools being announced, that is the claim of parents battling to maintain the independence of KEQMS.

The parents, still hoping to overturn the merger via the courts, have been fighting the takeover under the United Church Schools Trust since it was first mooted last September.

UCST’s chief executive Jon Coles, in announcing that merged school will operate from the same two current sites from next September, has called on the No To The Takeover group of parents to abandon their legal fight.

“I do not believe the tribunal will overturn the Charity Commission decision (to allow the merger) and feel the time devoted to this appeal and the money now being spent on lawyers would be better directed towards making AKS a success,” he said. I now ask the campaign to have the courage to call off its legal appeal and to remove this element of uncertainty from the process.”

But the parents’ group has dismissed the call, claiming that they are confident their legal appeal will be upheld when it goes before a First Tier Tribunal.

“We are receiving the very best legal advice and are confident that we have an excellent case to present,” the parents said in a statement.

“An independent KEQMS is a completely viable alternative, both educationally and financially.

“We are passionate but we are not idiots. If we believed for one second that this was a hopeless case or that the school could not survive, we would not continue.

“Jon Coles should remember that for parents nothing has changed for the better: in fact, thanks to his admission that only a split site is possible in September 2012 and no plans for re-development have even been submitted, there is more confusion and dissatisfaction than ever, both among KEQMS and the Arnold parents.”