The new name of a school named after slave trader Edward Colston has been announced. Colston's Girls' School (CGS) in Bristol will become Montpelier High School after a vote with current students and staff.

The school was established in 1891, 169 years after the death of Colston and was built with money he had endowed to support education.

The school's name and association with Colston had been the subject of renewed public debate after a statue of the 17th century merchant was toppled during a Black Lives Matter protest in June.

The new name was announced during a virtual school assembly and principal Kerry McCullagh told students that they had "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".

She said that the school is proud to be part of the Montpelier community and that the new name would allow the school to forge a new identity that represents its diverse and inclusive community.

The name is one of 10 that a working party of students developed earlier this year.

The names were presented to the Venturers Trust Board, which runs the school and shortlisted three for voting on.

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


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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."

A full rebrand of the non-selective academy is expected to take place in September 2021.

Ms McCullagh added: "We are conscious of the cost implication for our community of a school-wide rebrand.

"Updating uniforms mid-way through a school year is not something we would ask parents to do.

"We will now begin to work with a designer to develop our new visual identity and we would like to enjoy the experience, rather than rush it.

"It will be a proud moment for us all when we begin our next academic year as Montpelier High School."

In September, Avon and Somerset Police said it had asked prosecutors to consider charges against four people over the toppling of the Colston statue.

The bronze memorial was pulled down on 7 June and dumped in Bristol Harbour. It was later recovered by Bristol City Council.