On the naughty step this week: silly school names

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Once, your average school came with an average name, perhaps including the name of the town, neighbourhood or street it stood in. But these are more aspirational, competitive times.

A school, it seems, must now have a name that transcends place and evokes a lifestyle or a state of mind. The result is a wave of new schools in England with names that are more evocative of the executive range in a furniture or bathroom tiling catalogue. Take the Horizon Primary Academy, or the Diamond Academy. The Voyager Academy, we presume, can take you places.

Lately, the trend has been taken to even more odd extremes. A new school project in London calls itself the DV8 Academy. Then there is the XP. school (don't forget the full stop). It is unclear why it bears the title of a well-known computer operating system.

We don't mind historically silly names - Weed High School in California, for example - but names that try to encapsulate the school "brand" are a step too far. Jane Austen College, due to open in Norfolk, may well produce a generation of fine young novelists, but where will the hunt for brand recognition end?

To the naughty step, new schools with silly names.

Photo credit: Alamy

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