Probe call over schools merger

Parents and pupils gathered outside King Edward and Queen Mary School in Lytham

Parents and pupils gathered outside King Edward and Queen Mary School in Lytham

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PARENTS desperate to stop the takeover of their children’s private school are calling for a halt in proceedings while an investigation takes place.

The Charity Commission has agreed to investigate the planned takeover of Lytham’s King Edward and Queen Mary School (KEQMS) by the United Church Schools Trust (UCST) – a move which would see it merge with Blackpool’s Arnold School.

And now concerned parents are calling on the KEQMS governors to halt work with UCST until the outcome of the investigation is known.

Parent Ray Aliss, from campaign group No To The Takeover, said: “We’ve requested the Governors at KEQMS halt merger work until the Charity Commission make a decision. They’ve got a remit under the existing arrangements to carry on working as normal and we’re just asking they fulfil that.

“They have not responded.”

KEQMS is already controlled by the Lytham Schools Foundation charity, and a Charity Commission spokesman said: “As we have already received numerous representations, many of which raise concerns about the draft scheme, we have taken the decision to refer the matter to the commission’s internal final decision and tribunal team.

“The team will assess the scheme and the public representations to assess whether it should go ahead as drafted, be amended or withdrawn.”

No-one from the governors of KEQMS was available for comment.