Bristol School founded by slave trader to change its name

A private Bristol school 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. When the Edward Colston statue was toppled last year, the school decided to consult on the future of the name of the school.

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 to change the name from the existing slave trader name currently has come about from a survey that was carried out. The survey 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 the slave trader 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.”

“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 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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