Bristol school founded by slaver trader Edward Colston announces new name

The Governors of Colston’s School was founded by Edward Colston in 1710
Colston’s School was founded by Edward Colston in 1710. Credit: Colston's

A private school in Bristol founded by Edward Colston will be renamed later this year.

Colston's School, which was founded by the slave trader in 1710, will be renamed the Collegiate School from September.

Last year, the school launched a consultation over the future of its name - almost a year after a statue of Edward Colston was toppled and thrown into the harbour in Bristol.

The name was chosen following hundreds of suggestions from students, parents, staff and former students.

'Collegiate' was a strong contender due to its previous connection with the school. After merging with the Collegiate School in Winterborne in 1991, the school became Colston's Collegiate and fully co-educational.

The new logo for the school founded by Edward Colston. Credit: Colston's

Nick Baker, chair of the board, said: “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 are clear that this change must not be interpreted as an attempt to change or deny the school's history.

"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." 

Jeremy McCullough, the school's headteacher, 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 independent school in Stapleton will formally be known as the Collegiate School from the start of the autumn term in September.

A number of schools and venues connected to Edward Colston have also changed their names in the wake of the toppling.