Bristol school removes Colston from name in new rebrand

Colston's Girls' School has voted to become Montpelier High School.

A secondary school in Bristol has revealed its new name after deciding to cut ties with Edward Colston.

Colston’s Girls’ School, which was named after the slave-trader, has announced it will soon become Montpelier High School.

The new name was decided upon following a vote by students and staff, who said they wanted to “forge a new identity” that reflects the school and its community.

The new name was backed by 62% of students and staff.

Principal Kerry McCullage commended her students for “navigating a complex and emotional issue with skill and maturity”.

[They have] shown respect for others throughout the process, acknowledging that there are many views and opinions that reach far beyond the city.

Principal Kerry McCullage

The students were asked to choose from a list of names, including Montpelier, Liberty and Concordia.

They were also given the choice of College, High School and School.

A total of 62% of students and staff voted in favour of Montpelier High School.

The school was named after Edward Colston, whose statue was removed and thrown in Bristol's harbour by protesters.

Year 11 pupil Hemlata Pant said: “The entire student body has been a part of this process and I’m excited by the result today. 

“But this isn’t just a moment, it’s the beginning of something much bigger and as a community, we are helping to shape the future of the school.”

Fellow student Heidi Szynkaruk said the new name was “the start of a new chapter” for the school.

Change isn’t something that comes naturally, as we learnt from the public survey. It can be emotional and difficult but also joyful and welcomed. This is the start of a new chapter for our school, with a more inclusive name being the first step.

Heidi Szynkaruk, student

The new name is part of a wider rebrand of the school, which will take place in September next year.


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