School attack horror

Headteacher at Arnold School, Jim Keefe, who was attacked with bleach
Headteacher at Arnold School, Jim Keefe, who was attacked with bleach

PARENTS campaigning against the merger of King Edward and Queen Mary School with Blackpool’s Arnold have condemned and distanced themselves from a horror attack on the head designate.

Jim Keefe, who will take over as head of Arnold King Edward School on the historic KEQMS site next September, had bleach thrown in his face close to Arnold’s premises in Blackpool’s South Shore.

The attack, which left Mr Keefe having to be treated in hospital but with no lasting damage, came just days after it was announced by the Charity Commission that the merger under the United Church Schools Trust could go ahead.

Parents opposed to the merger have been campaigning against it for weeks and were hopeful that the Commission might rule against it going ahead.

The campaigners have given notice of their intention to appeal against the decision, although the merger has now been legally ratified and the parents’ group are looking into their options.

But they were quick to condemn the shock attack on Mr Keefe, which was carried out by an unknown perpetrator now being sought by police.

There is no evidence to suggest there is any connection with the anti-merger campaign.

A spokesman for the No To The Takeover campaign said: “We are a peaceful group. The thought of violence being used against anyone is deplorable and can never be justified.

“We hope that the perpetrator of this despicable act is swiftly brought to justice and that the full weight of the law is applied. We send our regards to Mr Keefe and his family and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Full story and more coverage of the merger, including exclusive open letter to parents from the KEQMS governors, in this week’s Express.