Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

School's Name Change Sparks Uniform Row

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

School's Name Change Sparks Uniform Row

Article excerpt

Byline: RACHAEL NICHOL Reporter

PARENTS fear that re-branding a secondary school will take away its identity as well as leaving them out of pocket as they are forced to shell out for new uniforms.

Heaton Manor School announced it would change its name to Jesmond Park Academy in a letter sent to parents in May - leaving many feeling they were given little say in the plans.

The school was opened in 1928 when King George V and Queen Mary visited Newcastle for the official opening of the Tyne Bridge.

Parent Robert Thompson fears the new name "will take away the history" of the school.

He said: "The Heaton school name has survived a world war, our parents and grandparents attended the Heaton school and the Heaton name is part of our community's identity."

One former pupil said: "It's not in Jesmond, it's in Heaton. There has been a school on that site with Heaton in its name since 1928. I strongly object to this change of name."

It is hoped the re-branding will help give the school a "fresh start" after it was graded 'Inadequate' by Ofsted in 2017 following the sudden departure of its head teacher.

Gosforth Federated Academies will be taking over the running of the school as part of the move.

George Snaith, chairman of trustees at Gosforth Federated Academies, said: "The Heaton Manor site has had Jesmond Park West as its postal address going back to 1928 and has long been known as the Jesmond site, so it seemed appropriate to adopt Jesmond Park Academy as the new name."

"We hope that everyone comes to embrace the new name in time, which represents a fresh start for the school on its journey to being outstanding."

As part of the rebrand Heaton Manor will provide pupils with five items of uniform to help cut costs but parents believe the gesture isn't enough. …

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