Urquhart Park Primary School could soon be known as Newington Primary School if a school council push to change the historic name is successful.
Parents received a letter proposing the name change when they received their children's school reports last term, surprising most who were unaware a name change was being considered. The move has angered some parents who fear the school's history could be forgotten.
In 1982, Urquhart Primary School moved from Urquhart St to its present site in Inkerman St, Newington, and the school name changed to Urquhart Park Primary School to reflect its new location opposite Victoria Park.
The school, and the street it was on, was named after William Swan Urquhart, a surveyor who planned the layout of Ballarat as we know it today.
"At the time Newington was not a well recognised suburb and was not considered as a name for the school. School council believe that with the ongoing growth in our community of Newington and within our school that it's now time to consider that change," school council wrote to parents.
"As the Ballarat community has grown, the suburb of Newington has developed and become a well recognised location. Newington is a growing and engaged community and it's where our school is located."
The letter stated many people had difficulty locating the school as Urquhart Park is not a suburb, that it should be easily identifiable to emergency services, and that many people regularly mispronounced and mis-spelled the school's name.
Rather than ditching the Urquhart Park name entirely, the school council proposes using the name within the school, such as the Urquhart Park oval or a new building being named the Urquhart Building.
They stated there was no intent to change the school's colours, uniform or logo.
Parent Sarah O'Neill, who has two children at the school, said she would not back a name change from Urquhart Park Primary School because of the history and its importance to the community. She was also concerned about the financial impact of the change to the school and parents, and the "appearance" of the name change.
"It's presented to us as though Newington is now becoming influential area because of it being in the zone of (Ballarat) high and the private schools. They are trying to appeal to those families but it's ignoring the demographic of who is actually at the school," Ms O'Neill said.
"Does that mean Macarthur Street Primary should become Soldiers Hill, or Pleasant Street Primary become Lake Wendouree Primary ... it's putting that sort of connotation on it."
She was also critical of the proposed name change only being advertised to the school community, not the wider community.
"There are lots of local people who went to Urquhart Primary, or Urquhart Park Primary ... and they say the name can't just be changed ... we went there and have pride for that school."
The name change comes hot on the heels of discussion about the name of the new primary school in Lucas.
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A state government poll to name the school, currently under construction in Lucas, has suggested two names: Lucas Primary School and Mullawallah Primary School.
The school is seeking community feedback on the name change until August 3.
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