PARENTS have been left shocked and upset after learning their children’s plush private schools are set to merge.
Stunned mums and dads were officially told on Monday evening – via text messages and email – Arnold School and King Edward and Queen Mary School (KEQMS) would be amalgamated from next September.
Angry students have already set up a Facebook group protesting against the merger and some parents at Arnold’s Junior School said the news had come out of the blue, with many left angry.
Jason Druce’s eight-year-old daughter only started at the school on Monday and he said: “If I had known before (the start of term) it would have changed things. I think it’s shocking, they should have been telling people way before.”
Another mum, whose second child should start in the infants next year, added: “I’m very angry and I’m convinced a lot of parents will leave.”
A third parent said she had two children at the school, with her eldest child due to move up to Arnold’s senior school next year.
She said: “We’re shocked. My child is in Year six and we’re really worried because it leaves me with little time to look at other schools.”
As part of the merger Arnold’s 700 pupils will move from their historic school site on Lytham Road to the KEQMS campus on Clifton Drive South, St Annes, where both schools will be part of the United Church Schools Trust (UCST) group and run by current Arnold head Jim Keefe.
The new school will be called Arnold KEQMS – or AKS for short.
And other parents believe merging the two schools might be the best thing for the future of their children’s education.
Lisa Thompson, from Freckleton, has one daughter in year nine and a second in the junior school.
She said: “I was a bit shocked, but to be honest I think it can only do good. I think I would rather they didn’t merge – we sent them to Arnold because we like Arnold, but at the same time I would rather they merge than not have a fee-paying school to choose from.”
FOR MORE ON THIS STORY SEE WEDNESDAY’S GAZETTE