Posted on January 12, 2023

Sir Francis Drake Primary School to Be Renamed Over Slave Trading Past Following BLM Protests

Emma Soteriou, LBC, January 10, 2023

Sir Francis Drake Primary School in Lewisham will change its name due to the historical figure’s “slave trade links”.

Drake was credited for defeating the Spanish Armada’s invasion of England in 1588 but also drifted into piracy and was one of the earliest supporters of the slave trade.

He came into the limelight once again after the Black Lives Matter protests, whereby his legacy was reassessed over his involvement.

Headteacher Karen Cartwright said: “The slave trade links associated with the current name sat at odds with the values of our school.”

A consultation over the name was launched, with 88% of 450 parents, staff, pupils and local residents voting in favour of a new name.

The school will be renamed Twin Oaks Primary School, which was put forward by pupils due to the two oak trees at the entrance to the school.

Ms Cartwright said she was “thrilled” pupils had been able to play such a “central role in this renaming process” in a letter seen by the BBC.

A competition is now being launched for pupils to design a new logo. Once it has been chosen, the school’s building will receive a new sign.

Ms Cartwright said costs would be kept to a minimum and that pupils would be able to continue wearing their current uniform until they outgrew it.

A new branded uniform will be available from September, the school added.

In September last year, a statue of Drake in Tavistock, Devon, was given a new information panel detailing his slave trading expeditions following a council review.

A hotel in San Francisco also named after the famed navigator changed its name over links to the slave trade too.