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Media Statement - 12 June 2020
Issued by Colston’s Girls’ School
12th June 2020
Colston’s Girls’ School is proud to be an inclusive and diverse community whose students are curious and confident. We teach our students that their own voice is a powerful tool that can be used to influence change and we encourage them to stand up for important issues that matter to them.
Following the protests in Bristol last Sunday, many of our students, both past and present, have contacted the school to share their feelings, including about the name Colston’s Girls’ School, which some students wish to keep and others wish to change. We are very open with our students about where the wealth of the school’s benefactor came from and we recognise that the name Colston does not always sit comfortably.
With the full support of our sponsors, the Society of Merchant Venturers and the University of Bristol, the Board of Venturers Trust and the leadership team of Colston’s Girls’ School have decided that the time is right to begin a transparent process to determine whether the name Colston’s Girls’ School should be changed. A six-week consultation will begin in September 2020 when we hope to be able to reopen the school to all year groups and facilitate the necessary opportunities for our students to debate and discuss the issue with their peers in person.
We have already begun to develop a framework for the consultation to identify how individuals can contribute. Between now and the launch of the consultation in September, we will share relevant resources and materials with our students to help them consider the important question of whether Colston’s Girls’ School should be renamed.
This is a very important decision for our school and we will place the views of our students at the heart of the consultation process, as well as welcoming input from parents, our stakeholders and the local community.
The six-week consultation will conclude with a decision on whether to keep or change the name of the school and, if the latter, what the new name will be.
Kerry McCullagh, Principal