Governors of Colston’s School have announced that, from September 2022, the school’s new name will be Collegiate, or Collegiate School, Bristol.
The school was founded by Edward Colston in 1710 but a decision was taken recently that the name of the school should be changed because of Colston’s links with the slave trade.
The crest and motto of the school will be retained and explained, rather than removed, the school has said, to teach pupils about the school’s history.
Colston’s School is the last educational institution in Bristol to bear Edward Colston’s name. Colston Primary School changed its name to Cotham Gardens in 2018 after a consultation with parents and children, and Colston’s Girls’ School decided to change its name to Montpelier High School last year.
In June 2020 Colston’s statue was pushed into Bristol harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest and there are calls for it to be permanently displayed in a museum.
The new name was chosen following hundreds of suggestions received from students, parents, staff and former students. The name Collegiate harks back to when the school merged with Collegiate School in Winterbourne in 1991 and the school became Colston’s Collegiate.
Chair of the board, Nick Baker, explained: “Collegiate not only represents the inclusive nature of the school, but the way in which the different sections of the school and the school community work together. Our Nursery, Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form all work together for the collective good, so too the school with our parents, former pupils and its wider community.”
The governing board is clear that this change must not be interpreted as an attempt to change or deny the school’s history. Nick continued: “We believe it is important that students attending the school continue to be taught about the school’s history; specifically, Edward Colston’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. In order to assist with this, some historical aspects of the school, for example the crest and motto, will be retained and explained, rather than removed.”
The school’s head, Jeremy McCullough, welcomed the announcement, saying: “Increasingly our student and parental body reflect the diverse nature of Bristol and we want to continue to work with our local communities in order to widen access to our school as much as possible.
“We believe that moving forwards with this new name will help us to become an ever more inclusive and welcoming community.”
The school will formally be known as Collegiate from the start of the autumn term in September, with its first ppen morning under the new name taking place at the end of September.