Does anyone remember these schools… Monks Park, St George, Whitefield, Speedwell, Hengrove, Portway, Brislington, Hartcliffe and Withywood? Two things unite them all; they were not private schools and they have all had their names changed (or rebranded as some consultant tosser would say) over the last few years. All of this renaming was carried out when they became ACADEMY SCHOOLS, the decisions being made by unaccountable management bodies.
One of these bodies is the VENTURERS TRUST, a front for the SOCIETY OF MERCHANT VENTURERS (SMV) who have been trying to takeover Bristol’s state education for more than a decade. The SMV now manage a series of schools which were once run by the Local Authority but are now apparently their property to do with as they will.
When the SMV took over WITHYWOOD SCHOOL in 2008, they almost immediately changed its name to the MERCHANTS ACADEMY. That is, the arrogant bastards named it after themselves. So the SMV clearly thought they were more important than the traditions of the school, the place or the people of Withywood.
So it is with great irony that we read that another one of the SMV schools is NOT changing its name despite pressure from pupils, parents and the public to do so. Why pressure to change the name? Well, this school is named after MASS MURDERER EDWARD COLSTON, who was involved in the deaths of 20,000 PEOPLE including 3,000 CHILDREN during his time running the transatlantic slave trade. According to a representative of COLSTON GIRLS SCHOOL (CGS), the brand COLSTON represents “outstanding education” and traditions must be must be protected… blah, blah.
Here at The BRISTOLIAN we are not sure how keeping the TOXIC BRAND OF A MASS MURDERER is more important than keeping the name Withywood? But then having seen the Ofsted report on how the SMV’s have fucked up the schooling at the so-called Merchants Academy maybe they want to erase both the name Withywood and the education of its pupils.
One rule for the rich and clearly no respect for us or our traditions amongst the Merchant Venturers.