New era dawns

King Edward and Queen Mary School, St Annes
King Edward and Queen Mary School, St Annes

A NEW ERA gets underway at a landmark school next week.

King Edward and Queen Mary School is no more – as the 2012-3 academic year dawns, the highly-controversial merger with Blackpool’s Arnold School under the United Church Schools Trust means it is Arnold King Edward School, or AKS, which now occupies the site on Clifton Drive South, St Annes.

Headmaster Jim Keefe and his staff are relishing the fresh era, as the new school year starts for all pupils on Monday after two inset days to round off this week and an induction day for new pupils tomorrow.

“We are all looking forward to the beginning of term and to welcoming AKS pupils on both sites to their new school,” said Mr Keefe. “We have had an extremely busy summer with pupils engaging in sports trips, Duke of Edinburgh Awards and a visit to the Olympics.

“Over the holidays, we have seen the planned improvement works proceed on our Lytham St Annes campus and look forward to the major building works starting.

“The beginning of a new school year is a special time for any head; welcoming back familiar faces and catching up with what they done over the summer while introducing new pupils to the school and making sure they feel at home and get off to a fantastic start”.

AKS is continuing on its two sites – the second is Arnold’s HQ in South Shore, Blackpool – for the coming academic year before the school comes together on the Clifton Drive South site from September 2013.

Extension plans costing £6.4m have been approved and are due to start shortly but during the summer, a refurbishment programme costing around £800,000 has included the bringing together of the St Annes and Blackpool computer networks and a new library.