The Colston Debate

The Colston Hall name change – a response from Colston’s Girls’ School – May 2017

 The community of Colston’s Girls’ School has given a great deal of thought to the recent decision by the Bristol Music Trust to change the name of the Colston Hall. We have been following, with great interest, press coverage and public debate relating to various buildings, institutions and charities in Bristol that bear the name of, or a historic connection to, Edward Colston.

Colston’s Girls’ School is proud of the wonderful diversity of its pupils, who have engaged in thoughtful and passionate discussions about the slave trade and the pernicious nature of modern slavery. Every pupil at Colston’s Girls’ School is taught to explore, reflect and comment on a wide range of controversial issues, and all are encouraged to celebrate the diverse nature of our local, national and international community. It is the intention of the school to encourage our students to play an active and positive role in shaping these communities in a way that promotes equality, tolerance and to appreciate diversity.

The debate about the legacy of Edward Colston is very much alive in Bristol and there is a broad spectrum of views. The Senior Leadership Team and the governing body of CGS believe that our pupils should be given the opportunity to listen to the full range of associated arguments and evidence relating to Edward Colston and his legacy in order to build their own, informed opinions. The history of Bristol, and of the school, forms part of the current curriculum and we will continue to encourage our students to debate topical issues and to consider and identify positive outcomes.