End in sight for merger crisis

Parents and pupils gathered outside King Edward and Queen Mary School in Lytham to protest against plans to merge the school with Arnold.

Parents and pupils gathered outside King Edward and Queen Mary School in Lytham to protest against plans to merge the school with Arnold.

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The future of two Fylde Coast schools should be clear within the next two weeks.

The Charity Commission is probing the planned merger between Lytham’s King Edward and Queen Mary School (KEQMS) and Arnold School, in Blackpool, and has announced it expects to release its findings in the week commencing November 14.

As part of the merger KEQMS, which has its roots in the Lytham Schools Foundation, would be taken over by the United Schools Church Trust (UCST). The Charity Commission became involved because that process would see the two charities coming together.

It also received hundreds of complaints from parents angry about the merger.

A spokesman for the KEQMS parents’ campaign group No To The Takeover said: “The point is that we simply don’t think a change is required for the charity to go from strength to strength.”

It is the commission’s Final Decision and Tribunal Team who will produce the report, and the KEQMS governor’s said this was normal procedure for such a scheme.