The parents are not for merging

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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HUNDREDS of angry pupils and parents made their views crystal clear during a protest outside a Fylde private school earmarked for merger.

Around 500 people gathered at King Edward and Queen Mary School (KEQMS), waving placards and chanting “we shall not be merged” yesterday evening.

Parents were told last week Arnold School and KEQMS would be amalgamated from next September – and the new school would be called Arnold KEQMS, or AKS for short.

Ray Aliss, from St Annes, whose two daughters attend KEQMS, is now co-ordinating a group of parents opposed to the scheme.

The 53-year-old said: “We met only six days ago and since that time we have had huge support from parents and pupils. They believe the governors have made a mistake.

“We are concerned by the lack of transparency. We need to have time out and have proper consultation.”

The group – named No to the Takeover – has proposed a ballot be held for people to decide whether the scheme should go ahead.

The merger would see Arnold’s 700 pupils move from their historic school site on Lytham Road, South Shore, to the KEQMS campus on Clifton Drive South, St Annes, where both schools will be part of the United Church Schools Trust (UCST) group.

Vicki Houston, from St Annes, who has two sons at the KEQMS, said: “I chose this school because of what it stands for, the ethos of the school and its reputation.

“I’m very disappointed the parents weren’t ever considered until the deal was done.”

Lesley Parsons, 34, from Cyprus Point in Lytham, said: “It’s very disheartening when you buy into it all those years ago. It’s upsetting.”

A petition with 1,000 signatures against the merger was handed to the governors during the protest.