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Confidently resist crass Christly branding

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Katherine Shonfield says that the most confident institutions never change names and cites the school Christ's Hospital as an example of an institution not suffering a problem of identifiability (AJ 18.1.01).

However, it should be noted that the grounds near Horsham have recently acquired new signs reading 'Christ's Hospital - The Bluecoat School'. While this is just a very small part of a whole raft of changes that the school is going through, to respond not just to legislative changes in education but also to perceptions of what must be done to be competitive (or as Shonfield says 'marketable') among a sector with increasingly aspirational parents, one wonders why explanatory signs are now considered necessary.

Perhaps when names change or snappy catch phrases or mission statements appear, it reflects not so much the confidence of the institution but that of those seeking to change it.

Shonfield is right that we should resist unwarranted changes rather than unquestioningly accepting the crass branding industry and its 'balderdash'.

Patrick Hogan, Beaconsfield

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