Arnold school site finally closed

Headteacher at Arnold School, Jim Keefe
Headteacher at Arnold School, Jim Keefe
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The school bell has rung for the last time at one of the Fylde’s most well-known educational buildings.

Staff and pupils alike bade a fond farewell to AKS’ Blackpool campus on Lytham Road, South Shore, as they streamed through its gates to begin their summer holidays at noon yesterday.

As of September the school’s pupils will all be based at its Lytham campus, with the former Arnold School building likely to become a residential development.

Jim Keefe, headmaster at AKS, said the day had been “poignant” for all those involved with the school.

Mr Keefe said: “The campus has been central to the legacy of the old Arnold site for many years but we’re looking at moving on to our new and fantastic building in Lytham.

“The pupils are very excited to be moving to the new facilities.

“It’s clearly a poignant day but it’s important to move forward.”

Among those to have been educated on the site are Doctor Who actress Jenna-Louise Coleman, Pet Shop Boys member Chris Lowe and former England footballer Jimmy Armfield.

Arnold School was founded in 1896 by Frank Truswell Pennington.

In 2011 the Governors of KEQMS, Lytham decided to join United Church Schools Trust, and it was agreed to merge the two schools on the Lytham site.

UCST committed to a substantial expenditure in excess of £6m in order to update the Lytham site’s ICT infrastructure, build a new junior school, a new aports hall, and re-furbish several other parts of the school.

From September all pupils will be based at the school’s Lytham campus, on Clifton Drive, which will feature a new drama studio and upgraded music, science and sixth form facilities.

The school is also having work done to create a new sports hall, set to be completed in 2014.

Work has already been completed on a new library and computing facilities.