Calls for end to merger battle

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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CALLS have been made for a group of parent’s battling to call off their legal bid to keep their children’s school independent.

The United Church School’s Trust (UCST) is urging a protest group from King Edward and Queen Mary School (KEQMS), in Fairhaven, to get behind the school’s merger with South Shore’s Arnold School – and stop trying to derail the plans.

But campaigning parents from the Save KEQMS group – who have already failed in one challenge to get the Charity Commission to block the merger – have already taken their case to a tribunal, and have defiantly vowed to continue.

UCST will run the new Arnold KEQMS School (AKS) from September and their chief executive Jon Coles said: “The judge has indicated the tribunal has no power to suspend progress towards the merger of the two schools and we are, therefore, moving ahead with the plans.

“I do not believe the tribunal will overturn the Charity Commission decision 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.

“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 campaign group – which is calling for an “independent future” for KEQMS – has blasted Mr Coles view of the appeal as “dismissive”.

In a statement the group, formally known as No To The Takeover, added: “We will concentrate on what is important for us – a well managed, thriving, independent KEQMS.

“It is true we face some challenges and will have to work hard to get us out of the mess which has been created over the last five months but we are confident KEQMS will remain an outstanding school – the school we all love.”

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