Charity Commission Investigate Schools Merger

Arguments are far from resolved over the proposed merger of King Henry VIII and Bablake Schools, which is due to be actioned physically from September and already well advanced in the planning.
The news that the Charity Commission have opened what they call a ‘fact-finding compliance case’, has raised the temperature more than a little.
Julia McNaney, the Chair of Coventry School Foundation’s governors, the body which controls both schools already, is confident that the Charity Commission will be satisfied with how the governors have acted and has made an implied criticism of campaigners against the merger, whose concerns have brought about the Commission’s involvement. However she has as yet not answered questions about how the merger decision was arrived at which were raised with her 5 months ago by the Old Coventrians Association, which represents 4000 former King Henry VIII pupils as well as staff and parents.
Parents, staff and the wider school community, including people with a Bablake background, remain angry and upset and some of the protestors believe that the whole merger process should be paused until the Charity Commission have delivered their findings. There is a strong feeling that notwithstanding the Foundation’s commitment to co-operate, the Commission would not have started their investigation if it did not appear that there were issues. These may include when and how key decisions were taken, and the fact those decisions were taken with a below strength governing body with unfilled vacancies after resignations.
The status of the merger project from the Coventry School Foundation’s point of view can be found at the website: Coventry School but other than confirming that the Swallows site in Kenilworth Road will be sold at the end of the current academic year there is still little there to inform the general public about the implications for the ECHO area in terms of this site, and in the longer term, the King Henry VIII site in Warwick Road.