A £14,337-a-year high school for girls has axed JK Rowling as a house name – following a new conversation on ‘people who changed the world for better’.
King’s High in Warwick announced the Harry Potter author back in 2016 as one of four identities for their groups, alongside Dame Judi Dench, Audrey Hepburn and Emmeline Pankhurst.
It proudly declared the names had been chosen by pupils who ‘opted to name them after inspirational female figures’.
But it emerged today that in March this year the school – run by head teacher Dr Stephen Burley – had binned her and the other three off.
Over the past year Ms Rowling’s views on transgender rights have seen her criticised from some quarters.
Now King’s has six houses, this time named after Jane Austen, Amelia Earhart, Rosalind Franklin, Mary Seacole, Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai.
MailOnline contacted the school asking why Ms Rowling’s house had been replaced and if it was connected to her views on the trans debate.
After initially saying they would respond they refused to comment, despite days of opportunity.
Ms Rowling’s views on transgender rights have seen her criticised from some quarters
King’s High in Warwick announced the Harry Potter author back in 2016 as one of its houses
King’s High head teacher Dr Stephen Burley came up with the Big Changemaker Conversation which ultimately led to the original four house names being replaced with six new ones
In happier times this had been the house logo flag at King’s High featuring JK Rowling herself
The six women who now have houses- who are also inspirational in their own right – were selected after a school project called the Big Changemaker Conversation.
It was dreamt up by Dr Burley and saw pupils make a list of people who had changed the world for the better.
He said of the name: ‘Changemakers are innovators and creative thinkers, inquisitive and open-minded, keen to test out new ideas and explore new ways of doing things.
‘Changemakers have a positive impact on others and their community through inspirational leadership, creative ideas, by demonstrating kindness, compassion, emotional intelligence and empathy.
Now King’s has six houses, this time named after Jane Austen, Amelia Earhart, Rosalind Franklin, Mary Seacole, Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai
Legendary actor Dame Judi Dench has also been replaced at the school as a house name
Audrey Hepburn and Emmeline Pankhurst also were house names but are now also both gone
Mary Seacole: the nurse seen as a ‘secular saint’
Mary Seacole is regarded as the greatest black Briton, a woman who did more to advance the cause of nursing – and race relations – than almost any other individual.
On the bloody battlefields of the Crimea, she is said to have saved the lives of countless wounded soldiers, and nursed them back to health in a clinic she paid for out of her own pocket.
But some historians have long complained that she has become almost as famous as that other nursing heroine, Florence Nightingale.
For decades after her death in 1881, Seacole’s story was largely overlooked, but for the past 15 years, her reputation and exploits have undergone a remarkable rehabilitation.
Every schoolchild is taught about her achievements, she is a statutory part of the National Curriculum, and for many, she is seen as a secular saint.
Numerous schools, hospitals and universities have rooms or buildings named after her, and shortly she will get her greatest tribute yet: an 8ft tall bronze statue was erected to her memory in the grounds of St Thomas’s Hospital, facing towards the Houses of Parliament.
‘Their commitment to leadership is driven by a sense of others rather than self, by a deep-rooted conviction about the importance of social responsibility and making a positive contribution to community.’
A longlist was whittled down to 19 whose portraits were put framed in a special gallery along with a mirror.
Neither JK Rowling, Dame Judy, Actress Hepburn or suffragette Pankhurst were among them.
Those 19 were then voted on and six were nominated as the new six houses names.
In January a secondary school specialising in performing arts cancelled Ms Rowling – replacing her as a house name over her ‘comments and viewpoints surrounding trans people’.
The Boswells School in Chelmsford, Essex, had honoured the writer for one of its in-school groups, which had also been labelled with the quality of ‘self-discipline’.
But it emerged she had been replaced over the summer with Olympic hero Dame Kelly Holmes.
The school had announced plans to review Rowling’s name in July after ‘requests from students and staff’.
One parent said: ‘This is censorship – JK Rowling is a good example of achievement through adversity.
‘Not everyone thought she should go, a lot of schools seem to be doing the same thing at the moment sadly.’
The school’s issues with Rowling, 56, were laid bare in a newsletter seen by MailOnline, which featured an image of the house logo with the writer’s name erased.
Elsewhere a university has also given a content warning to students reading the first Harry Potter book over ‘difficult conversations about gender, race, sexuality, class, and identity’.
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