Key time for school’s fate

Fylde by Air March 2008.'King Edward and Queen Mary School. PIC BY ROB LOCK
Fylde by Air March 2008.'King Edward and Queen Mary School. PIC BY ROB LOCK
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PLANS have been submitted to extend the capacity of the King Edward and Queen Mary School site.

But it could be months before Fylde Council makes a decision on the proposals.

The submission of the plans comes as the parents’ group battling to maintain KEQMS’ independence, prepare for the court hearing – now set for next month – which they hope will overturn the merger between KEQMS and Blackpool’s Arnold School.

The plans have been drawn up by the United Church Schools Trust in preparation for the merger which is due to come into effect from September.

For the 2012-3 school year, the UCST has already announced, the two schools will continue to operate from their current sites.

But plans for the future as the Fairhaven site shapes up to accommodate roughly twice as many pupils as at present include a wide range of new features.

These are a two-storey extension with a new glazed link to the main school building, extension and refurbishment of the sports hall, part single and part two-storey extension to the junior school, as well as a multi-use games area and new parking drop-off areas.

A Fylde Council spokesman said it was likely to be June before the matter will be discussed by the Development Management Committee, adding: “It is a large application with a lot of matters to consider.”

Meanwhile, backed by a large number of parents and former pupils, they are appealing against the Charity Commission decision to create the merger scheme.

April 11 and 12 have been set as the dates for the First Tier Tribunal’s initial formal hearing of the case, at which the NTTT group will be represented by London-based barrister Hubert Picarda.

Ray Allis and Martin Hesketh of the No To The Takeover group of parents will stand as appellants.

Mr Allis said: “I am unable to comment on the details, but t I believe that the case we are putting forward is as strong as possible.”