The Taunton Academy Name Change Consultation

Evidence suggests that schools work best when they have a well-established and trusted network that interconnects the work of the school with the community it serves. Whilst we recognise the challenges both in and around education currently, we also know that a school has the greatest impact when it is supported, backed and recognised by its community as an asset that makes a real difference to the lives and families of the children who attend. Ultimately, we would want the school to be something the community talks about with warmth and pride.

The name of any educational institution is an opportunity for it to identify and connect itself to the community it serves. It is primarily for this reason that we have repeatedly questioned ‘The Taunton Academy’ as the nomenclature for our school. The main issue being that ‘The Taunton Academy’s’ current name has no sense of place or connection within the community it serves and is also too generic considering the now much broader ‘Academy’ landscape in Taunton.

Previous discussions about re-naming the school concluded that without significant structural change, changing the school’s name might be viewed as the proverbial ‘emperor’s new clothes’ and therefore we concluded not to proceed. The recent changes, Senior Leader appointments and the documented cultural improvements that are being made at the school, means it now feels timely to re-name the school and in doing so reconnect it back to the community.

Given the historical links to the local area and that historical records seem to suggest that the school is built on what was the Pyrland estate we are proposing to rename the school from the 1 September 2023 as Pyrland School.

Our plan would be to retain the current school logo but remove the text referring to ‘The Taunton Academy’. There will be no insistence for students to change any of their current uniform, new uniform will still include the school logo but without ’The Taunton Academy’ text. As a result, there will be no cost to families or students attending the school as a result of the name change. We will over time amend/update signage, displays and any publicity material.

We would like to give all stakeholders an opportunity to comment on this proposal should they wish. To do this please email The final date for any comments will be Friday 30 June 2023.

John Abbott

CEO Richard Huish Trust