The Prescotian Webzine

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Knowsley school to have one of “longest names in the world”
Click here for Echo article
Click here for Reporter article
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A NEW school is to have a whopping 12-word name because of a spat over what it should be called.

From September pupils face enrolling at Knowsley Park Centre for Learning – serving Prescot, Whiston and the Wider Community. The far from catchy title – believed to be among the world’s longest school names – will be the name adopted by a new secondary in Prescot. It is to be based on the site of Prescot school which dates back to 1544. The school will be a combination of Prescot school and Whiston’s Higher Side comprehensive, one of seven new multi-million secondaries the council refer to as centres for learning.

Governors have confirmed the mouthful name will be used on the school exterior as well as signs, stationery, marketing and letters. The council-backed governing body had plumped for Knowsley Park Centre for Learning because of its Knowsley Park Lane location and the fact the school is “a completely new entity to the previous donating secondary schools”. But this angered Lib-Dem ward councillors who are furious a secondary based in Prescot, and replacing a school which had served a community for more than 550 years, had no mention of Prescot in the title.

As a compromise the governors have stretched the name to reflect all the areas it will serve. A Knowsley council spokesman today said the new name was “legally sound” and 150 responses were received after flyers asking for suggestions were sent out when consultation on the name began in October last year.
These the council said were distributed to both Prescot and Higher Side school pupils, feeder primary schools and the “wider community”, including community centres and community groups.

A spokesman confirmed that following Lib-Dem concerns over the original name the governors agreed “to always refer to the Centre as 'Knowsley Park Centre for Learning - serving Prescot, Whiston and the wider community’.” But the new name was today branded “disrespectful” by Cllr Marjorie Sommerfield, shadow education spokeswoman. She told the ECHO: “It is important that Prescot is in the title due to its historic links , we have lost enough of our identity already. “We realise it would probably need to be called Prescot and Whiston, but what they have come up with is patronising and an after thought. When you think of Knowsley Park you think of Lord Derby’s estate.”

Today Nick Seaton, chairman of parent body the Campaign for Real Education which presses for higher standards and more parental choice in state education said: “This is probably among the longest school names in the world and definitely among the most ridiculous and impractical. At least pupils will be able to practise their spelling and grammar every time they refer to their school.”

Click here for full article in the Echo
Your Comments
The sooner Prescot gets out of Knowsley the better! This is a disgrace. Prescot (grammar) School has over 550 years history. Knowsley was formed in 1974...
It is typical spin, Knowsley Park Lane is a road!! All the idiots at the council want is Knowsley as a brand and a name to dominate everywhere. Pathetic.
Why don't the Halewood, Huyton and Kirkby elements join Greater Liverpool and Prescot can join St Helens, or even better join South Lancashire and get back our history. I work in the media so will make sure Knowsley becomes the laughing stock of councils if this 'rebranding' goes ahead. [prescot98]

It is a crazy name. I was at PGS from 1968-1975. Knowsley Park, to me, means safari park. [Lee Hammond]
This must be some sort of joke... who in their right mind thinks this has any merit? Prescot Grammar school is being robbed of its historical name by politically correct bureaucrats hell bent on trying to distance themselves for the short time the school was part of the selective education system. [Editor]
As even a school name has to be politically correct in today`s world would it not be more appropriate for the place to be called, "Merseysides Multicultural Politically Correct Academic Institution for all Abilities and Temperaments"? Or would that leave out something? [invisible]
Futurum inquirimus...for what! Why? Leave it alone. It's been good since 1544. [Ken Ashton]
Please pass on my outrage at the re-naming of PGGS (oh well you can include the guys as well! ) What madness.I will pass on the news to Miss Keay but she will probably know already! [Sandra Clancy]
I am horrified at this change in a school with over 550 years odf existence at Prescot (Grammar) School. There is NO NEED for this change. It is a SCHOOL and it is in PRESCOT. "Knowsley Park" is where monkeys and lions live, NOT where young people are education. [Liz Parkinson]
How can they let such a historic name be replaced with such a load of pc poppycock??? [Ken Jones]
I cannot believe my eyes....indeed I read this through a mist of tears. As a callow 14 year old, I campaigned to stop the amalgamation (successfully) of the former Prescot Grammar School with Whiston Higherside in c. 1980. At least they weren't trying to give the merged institution a ridiculous name though. What is it to be known as "for short"? KLASPWIC? Someone's bound to come up with something undignified...and its future pupils will be ashamed...Alma Mater? They won't know (or care) about the meaning.

One more nail in the coffin for the historic town of Prescot whose fate was sealed in 1974. In 1976, the decision was taken to bulldoze many of its historic buildings thus erasing its character and unique and proud history forever. PLEASE don't do this. [Sueprescotian]


Oh dear, Governors obviously had little time to think. Perhaps to busy filling expense claims as seems to be the in thing? [Paul Hooker]
Another great example of the demise of the British Education System and why I (currently living in Egypt) have no intention of returning to the UK whilst my children are of school age! [Graeme Bagley]
Omigoodness! Save us from the probably overpaid, lots of expenses...just following the outcome of the "review" people. [Sandra Clancy]
I do not believe it! When was Prescot Knowsley!!! [Ken Ashton]
This renaming/rebranding is total b*ll**ks. Could a Petition be organised. Any other action. This is throwing away over 500 years of history for the benefit of PC. [Skip Ward]
Sounds like a very 'special' school now !! [Mick Hilton]
Unfortunately, ‘history’ means nothing to the PC Brigade….or rather its means ‘get rid of it!.’ [Steve Flynn]
Surely they missed the prefix which presumably is: The People's.. [Robert McDougall]
Its beyond parody, and really very sad. But in truth, the rot set in years ago, and it may perhaps be preferable finally to bury the corpse and choose remember the school we all new and loved it its better days. Might I suggest the addition of yet a further word to the proposed new name, to round it up the dozen, and at the same time an alternative convenient location? How about; 'The Knowsley Safari Park Centre for Learning . . . etc etc ' [Peter Chadwick]
What disappointing news, in today's climate, unfortunately not as unexpected as it should be. [John Webster]
What a load of political correctness bollox! Not only is it disrespectful to the history of the school, but the pupils will be the laughing stock of the UK educational service and colleges of further education, when they apply for placements. Completely ridiculous! [David Ng]
I'd just like to add to them my total disbelief in this amazingly stupid decision. It makes you wonder what kind of morons are running the madhouse of local government! [Paul Gerrard]
Agree - absolutely awful name. However, I could live with the name change if I did not see it as a change in ethos. PGS was a lifeline for me and countless others. It saddens me to think that future generations of bright kids will be denied access to a first class education. [Ian Mitchell]
Unbelievable! [Rob Kershaw]

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