New name for Colston’s Girls’ School

Principal says the change will allow the school to ‘forge a new identity’

Colston’s Girls’ School on Cheltenham Road has chosen a new name, following a vote by staff and students. 

The school will now be known as Montpelier High School, instead of being named after the 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston.

A statue of Colston was removed from the school in June, following anti-racism protests across Bristol.

Principal Kerry McCullagh said the students have “navigated a complex and emotional issue with skill and maturity” and that they had “shown respect for others throughout the process, acknowledging that there are many views and opinions that reach far beyond the city”.

From a choice of Montpelier, Liberty and Concordia; and College, High School and School, 62 per cent of votes favoured Montpelier
High School.

The name change is part of school-wide rebrand, beginning in September 2021, which will include updated uniforms and a “new visual identity”.

Head student, Betsy Maguire said: “It’s been incredible to be part of this process and to work alongside others on such a monumental project. I am certain that there are students in this school who will change the world. Be it through challenging opinions or championing ideals for the future, every single person here should feel proud of what they have achieved.”

Chair of governors, Chris Patterson said: “Inviting the students to shape and deliver the consultation and to have the final say on what the new name should be was certainly the right decision. The students have conducted themselves with integrity throughout the entire process and they have been fantastic ambassadors for the school, displaying our core values of respect, responsibility, curiosity and resilience. They will remember this experience for the rest of their lives and they have learnt valuable life skills that will help them in the future.”

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