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Former Prime Minister William Gladstone, who represented Newark for a time, to be removed from name of William Gladstone Church of England Academy

Former Prime Minister William Gladstone is to be removed from the name of a Newark primary school.

Following months of consultation with trustees and governors it has been decided that during 2020-21 the William Gladstone Church of England Academy will have a change of name and rebranding, including a uniform change.

The new logo proposed by the school. (38647945)
The new logo proposed by the school. (38647945)

The school has been called William Gladstone Church of England Academy since 2012.

The 19th Century prime minister, who represented the Newark constituency for a time, has been criticised as part of the Black Lives Matter movement because of his family's links to the slave trade.

Head Sarah Clarke said: “I have to be honest and say that as a school we have long been at odds with the name, and the fact that it doesn’t reflect that we are a Church of England school.

"In addition, the name itself and what it means could make many people in our community feel they might not be as valued as others.

"This simply could not be further from the truth.

"In our school community, all are welcome, valued and treated with equity and respect.

"Raising aspirations in our school community, and ensuring all children are proud of their school association is key to all future success.

"We are proud of our Christian distinctiveness and all Church of England schools by design have inclusivity at their heart.

“Though our discussions on this matter were started months ago, we do feel powerfully aligned with the will for change being driven by the #Blacklivesmatter campaign.

“While the required consultations are yet to be completed, we are happy to say that we are all in agreement that a rebrand will take place starting with our new logo and school uniform in September.”

The school began the discussion to change in July 2019, beginning with the setting out of a new vision and instigated consultations with trustees, governors, staff and families over the rebranding and name change.

The school then set out its vision, and as part of that began consultations on a new rebranding including new logo and uniforms, which more accurately reflects the school community, the school’s ethos, and the Church of England nature of the school.

The school’s new name will be announced at a later point.

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