South West Wales

Petition over Pembroke Dock's 'blue school' rebranding plan

Media captionAlmost 500 people have joined an online campaign opposing the rebranding

Parents at a Pembrokeshire school have reacted angrily to plans to change its name and its famous blue colour.

Nearly 500 people have joined an online campaign after receiving a letter about the proposed rebrand of Pembroke Dock Community School.

The planned changes follow the jailing for ex-head teacher David Thorley in 2009 for the sexual assault of pupils.

Pembrokeshire council said no decision had been reached, but keeping the school painted blue was also an option.

When it opened its doors in 2001 the school was the first primary in Wales to be built and maintained by a private company.

Its distinctive colour also made it stand out and it became known as "the blue school".

Following Thorley's prison sentence governors now want to move on and change the school's branding, but parents are not convinced.

"They don't like the fact that it's blue because blue in itself is a sad colour which is silly," said former parent-governor Katie Jones.

"Blue is the history of this school since it started off as a school here. It's known up and down the country.

"You can speak to hospitals, Members of Parliament. If you say your kids go to Pembroke Dock Community School straight away they'll say: 'The blue school.'"

Racing green, mustard yellow, Pembrokeshire pink, Spanish brown and heritage red have been suggested as alternative colours for the school.

The council said governors would discuss the matter next month and consider a range of colours which includes blue.

'No cost'

"This is a straightforward matter of choosing a paint colour for the school and - depending on the choice - possibly a new name," said a spokesman

"The school is due for repainting and this is being done under the terms of the private finance initiative at no cost to the school budget.

"A range of colours is being considered, including blue.

"As an act of courtesy, the head teacher is consulting widely with stakeholders, including parents and pupils."

Thorley was convicted of nine counts of sexually assaulting children in his care and was jailed for two years at Swansea Crown Court in 2009.

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