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HomeUK NewsBristol school founded by slave trader Edward Colston to change its name

Bristol school founded by slave trader Edward Colston to change its name

A private school in Bristol founded by slave trader Edward Colston in 1710 has decided to change its name.

Colston’s School was established and named by the slave trader over 300 years ago and has retained the name ever since.

In response to the toppling of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol last year, a consultation was triggered on the future of its name.

In a statement sent to Sky News, governors said a new name, which will be announced next summer, will be a “positive step” for the school.

The decision was made alongside a survey, which received more than 2,500 responses.

School officials said despite the name remaining unchanged for over 300 years, it was not intended to “glorify or celebrate” Colston.

“This school was not named after Colston, rather it was named by Colston,” they said.

“However, the events that took place in Bristol in June 2020, namely the toppling of the Colston statue, prompted renewed questions over the retention of his name across the city.”

More than 1,000 people responded to the survey stating they were in favour of retaining the name.

But the school said, “respondents who are closer to the school showed that they were more inclined to see a change in the name as a positive step”.

It added that pupils and staff wanted a new name for the school that is “relevant for the pupils and staff of today and tomorrow” and to “better reflect” modern values.

“The governors are adamant that changing the name of the school will not erase the school’s history, and that teaching of the transatlantic slave trade and the role of Edward Colston in Bristol’s history will remain a key part of the school’s curriculum,” it added.

Headteacher Jeremy McCullough added: “Changing the name will not change the nature of our happy, diverse and forward-looking school.

“We will continue to provide an excellent and holistic education and to do our very best to support those families who entrust us with their children.

“It is an exciting new chapter for the school, and I am proud of our pupils and staff for engaging in this complex discussion and for being a part of the future they want to see.”

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