Designers to enter row over school witch logo

A DESIGN company is to be drafted to help determine if the Warboys witch is to be saved or ditched. Warboys Primary School caused a furore in the village when it decided just before Easter to abandon its logo – a witch on her broomstick. The decision spar

A DESIGN company is to be drafted to help determine if the Warboys witch is to be saved or ditched.

Warboys Primary School caused a furore in the village when it decided just before Easter to abandon its logo - a witch on her broomstick.

The decision sparked protests from parents, past pupils and villagers.

Now the school says a design company will be appointed to ask pupils for their views on a new - and the current - logo.

A letter sent to parents on Friday says that the design company - which has not been named - will run focus groups with the children to find out what they like about the school and what it means to them.

It says: "This will be completely open to allow the children to decide on what symbol or symbols they believe best represent the school and the village.

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"It is therefore possible that the witch symbol may form part of the logo. However, it is equally possible that it may not. The design agency will then come up with designs based on the children's views."

The letter, from chairman of the governors David Spittle, also asked parents to vote by today (Wednesday) on the colour of the school uniform. Since 1946, when the witch logo was designed by a pupil in a school competition, the uniform colour has been dark green.

This latest move comes after a 1,000-signature petition and over 200 letters of protest from parents calling for the witch to be saved and objections to the uniform change from Warboys Parish Council.

Despite this, the governors say a new uniform will be available next term and hope parents will have made the change by September 2009.

The letter - printed on paper with the witch logo - said the governors wanted to simplify the uniform and reduce its cost for parents.

The governors have suggested the new uniform should be either green, blue, red or grey - clothing colours available from shops or supermarkets. Until now, the uniform has been on sale at the school but new Government guidelines stipulate that there must be competition.

Amanda Searle, mother of two pupils at the school and spokesman for the protestors, told The Hunts Post: "We would like to know how much the design agency will cost and where the money will come from. Also who is going to be counting the votes? Perhaps a neutral person should do this or perhaps the steering group should also include parents and people from the wider community."

Mrs Searle added there was also concern about what uniforms parents should be buying for their children starting in September and if uniforms can be handed down to other pupils.

"We don't seem to have been given the option to keep the uniform that we have," she said. "A good compromise would be to keep the witch logo for parents to sew on to uniform if they wished."

The Hunts Post has been told that this is not the first time the witch has been under threat.

Parish councillor Joan Cole said she was one of the protestors in 1999 when the Reverend Stephen Leeke, then vicar of Warboys Parish Church, said the witch could encourage children to focus on the dark side of human nature, leading to "horrific results".

INFORMATION: Warboys was the last place in England where witches were hanged, Alice and John Samuels and their daughter Agnes were executed on April 5, 1593. The witch has been the school's logo for about 60 years.

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