Sir Francis Drake Primary School renamed to distance itself from slave trade links

Sir Francis Drake School in Lewisham.
Sir Francis Drake School in Lewisham, south east London Credit: Google Street View

A primary school in South London has voted to change its name to distance itself from navigator Sir Francis Drake.

Parents, staff, pupils and the local community were asked to to pick from a shortlist of three names selected by students.

The school in Lewisham said an "overwhelming majority" voted to get rid of the name Sir Francis Drake Primary School in favour of Twin Oaks Primary School.

"This name was originally suggested by our pupils, because of the two oak trees which grow around our entrance. I’m thrilled our pupils have been able to play such a central role in this renaming process," the school said.

"The decision to consult on changing the school name was taken by the Governing Body, who felt that the slave trade links associated with the current name sat at odds with the values of our school.

"While the change in name is effective immediately, it will take us time to fully transition and we require no immediate action from you. We are currently working on designs for a new logo and will be involving the pupils in this process," the statement added.

Queen Elizabeth knights Sir Francis Drake following his round-the-world voyage Credit: PA

The school addressed concerns about the cost of new branded uniforms, but said pupils would be able to wear their current uniform until it no longer fits and non-branded jumpers could still be worn.

Sir Francis Drake was an English explorer and slave trader who is widely known for circumnavigating the world in a single expedition between 1577 and 1580.

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