Pupils play the name game as merger nears

Kingsbrook School in Deanshanger.
Kingsbrook School in Deanshanger.

CHILDREN at Kingsbrook School spent the half-term holiday voting on a new name for the school if a proposed merger goes through.

The controversial move would see the Deanshanger school combined with Roade School Sports College, eight miles away.

The decision could affect up to 1,600 students from Deanshanger and the surrounding villages, as well as students in Buckinghamshire, who are travelling from as far afield as Preston Bissett and Winslow.

Northamptonshire County Council announced a public consultation into the merger in March, with a final decision set to be made on Tuesday, July 19.

The vote for a new name centres on two choices; Elizabeth Woodville School and Grand Union School.

These names were selected after discussions between governors, staff and students over recent weeks. Plans are also under way for the introduction of a new school tie should the merger go ahead.

Elizabeth Woodville – born in nearby Grafton Regis – was Queen Consort to King Edward IV and the great-grandmother to Elizabeth I.

She is renowned for being the first ‘commoner’ to marry an English sovereign – in much the same way as Kate Middleton recently did when she married Prince William.

As well as being a fascinating historical figure, her link to Grafton Regis is symbolic as this village lies midway between the two sites of the new school.

The proposal for Grand Union School is a reference to the canal that runs through the county.

The Grand Union Canal runs close to Roade and passes through Deanshanger.

The name is being championed as ‘strong and reliable’ and is said to be symbolic of how the two schools are joining together.

Last month, this newspaper spoke to Kingsbrook head Pamela Hutchison, who was confident the merger would not cause problems for students.

Speaking then, she said: “It is not unusual for children to move from one school to another for the subjects they need at A-level and I’m actually quite relaxed about it.”

She also said while Roade School has been in special measures for 18 months , by working in partnership with Kingsbrook improvements were beginning to show.

“We have been working together for the last year and there have been three inspections during that time.

“In each one progress has been made with some very favourable comments. We are confident we are moving rapidly in the right direction.”

Which name do you prefer? Or is it too early to be discussing the subject? Let us know by emailing gavin.moore@jpress.co.uk or calling 01280 827975