ST NEOTS Community College is to make a fresh start this September by drawing on its heritage as it prepares to begin life as Ernulf Academy.

ST NEOTS Community College is to make a fresh start this September by drawing on its heritage as it prepares to begin life as Ernulf Academy.

The school, which was Ernulf Community School until September 2004, has announced the change as an opportunity to reconnect with its historical roots and re-establish student pride in the school.

From September, Longsands College will also change to Longsands Academy, and the federation between the two schools, formerly the Longsands Learning Partnership, will become St Neots Learning Partnership. Both schools will also have new logos, designed jointly by current and former students.

Robert Whatmough, executive principal, said the changes were a chance to get back Ernulf's "good historical name" and signal the start of a new era both as an academy and a school free of Ofsted's special measures.

He said: "The change from college to academy in the title of the two schools was initially a means of indicating our change of status in a fairly straightforward manner. For Longsands, this represents a development that signals continuity as well as change. However, in the case of St Neots Community College, we have also taken the opportunity to get our good, historical name back following the lifting of Ofsted special measures in March."

Mr Whatmough said response to consultation with parents, staff and students had been overwhelmingly in favour of returning to the school's historical name, which was dropped in favour of St Neots Community College seven years ago.

"It's a name that people had continued to use anyway - people around the town knew the school as Ernulf.

"There's a strong historical link to the area, and there is more pride in the name Ernulf than in St Neots Community College."

He added: "The name Ernulf is believed to be the origin of Eynesbury - Ernulf's Bury - and so it is an appropriate name for the school located there."

In June, Huntingdonshire's seven secondary schools - including Hinchingbrooke and St Peter's Schools, in Huntingdon, St Ivo School in St Ives, Abbey College, Ramsey, and Sawtry Community College - were given permission to adopt academy status, allowing them financial and educational autonomy, including the freedom to change their names.

The academies' new logos were designed collaboratively between current and a former student now working as a graphic designer.

Mr Whatmough added: "It's a chance to recognise the federation between Longsands and Ernulf Academies, while respecting the individual identities of each."