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  • Writer's pictureLucy Atherton

The Taunton Academy to Become Pyrland School

Following a consultation with parents and the local community, The Taunton Academy has announced it will be changing its name from 1st September 2023 to Pyrland School. The school is part of Richard Huish Trust, which has chosen the new name in order to better reflect its link to the area it serves.

John Abbott, the trust’s CEO said: “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.

“We 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 Pyrland dates from feudal times and is thought to refer to ‘ber-land’ which was land given to tenants in return for services. Historical records suggest that school was built on what was the Pyrland estate, which is now on Cheddon Lane. It’s within the borough of Taunton Deane and part of the Pyrland and Rowbarton Ward. Locally there was once a Pyrland Hall (now King’s Hall School) and nearby Pyrland Farm operates a B&B and shop.

Mr Abbott added: “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 name for our school.

“The main issue was that the current name had no sense of place or connection within the community it serves and was also too generic considering the now much broader landscape in Taunton.

“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.”

There will be no costly rebranding process to the re-name the school. Pyrland School will be retaining the school logo, but will phase out reference to the old name over the coming months as old school signage is replaced as part of the school maintenance schedule. There will also not be a cost for families. All children will be able to continue to wear their current uniform. There will be no insistence for students to change any of it and the new version will still include the school logo, but without the old name text.

Head Teacher Lisa Webber said: “Although our name is changing, our commitment to improving our school is as strong as ever. Pyrland School will have excellent staff, a brilliant enrichment offer and a growing number of talented, kind and polite students


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