Henry VIII dodges the axe as school votes to keep his name

Henry VIII dodges the axe as school votes to keep his name after local councillor got ‘conflicted’ about honouring a wife-killing king

Unlike two of his wives, Henry VIII has escaped the chop after parents won a battle to keep his name on their school.

The Tudor monarch, who founded the King Henry VIII School in Abergavenny, South Wales, in 1542 and even appointed its first headmaster, faced being axed under merger plans.

One Labour councillor, Ben Callard, said he was ‘conflicted’ about it still being named after a wife-killing king, pictured, who ‘entrenched inequality’.

But history-loving parents battled against the bid to rename the 1,000-pupil state school as ‘Abergavenny Learning Centre’. 

A vintage English history painting of Henry VIII by the workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger

A poll found 4,069 in favour of the status quo with just 405 wanting a change.

Conceding defeat, Mr Callard said: ‘It’s been King Henry VIII for the last 481 years and it is a tradition in Abergavenny and I would support, in spite of the issues, continuing with the name.’

It is to become an ‘all-through’ school for children aged from three to 19.

Conservative councillor Malcolm Lane said: ‘I would hate to see the name change. It is part of Abergavenny’s history.’ 

King Henry VIII School in Abergavenny, South Wales, was set to be renamed ‘Abergavenny Learning Centre’

Had Monmouthshire councillors dropped the Tudor king’s name from the title of the Abergavenny school they would have had to gain permission from the Welsh Government, Secretary of State for Wales David Davies MP and ultimately King Charles III himself. 

But the county council backed the public’s choice to stick with the King Henry VIII School name when the comprehensive reopens. 

Henry VIII appointed its first headmaster Richard Oldsworthy when the opened with just 26 pupils all boys aged between 7 and 14.

READ MORE: School accused of ‘cultural vandalism’ after changing its name honouring Sir Francis Drake to ‘bland and meaningless’ Twin Oaks Primary


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