Emma Watson’s former school cancels Christmas to be ‘inclusive at all touchpoints’ – as parents slam ‘wokery run riot’

  • The Dragon School in Oxford plans to rename its Christmas and Easter terms
  • Headteacher Emma Goldsmith told parents the change was to be ‘inclusive’
  • The 800-pupil school’s move is apparently to avoid offending non-Christians
  • But the decision has sparked anger with parents slamming ‘wokery run riot’

A prep school whose ex-pupils include Harry Potter actress Emma Watson is to rename its Christmas and Easter terms, apparently to avoid offending non-Christians.

Emma Goldsmith, head teacher at Dragon School in Oxford, wrote to parents: ‘Those of you who have been at the Dragon for some time will be familiar with the academic terms being known as Christmas, Easter and Summer terms.

‘However, we will be moving to naming them Autumn, Spring and Summer from the beginning of the Spring Term. 

‘This is a slight tweak but one that I hope reflects a community which wants to be inclusive at every touchpoint.’

Dragon School in Oxford, whose ex-pupils include Harry Potter’s Emma Watson (pictured), is to rename its Christmas and Easter terms, apparently to avoid offending non-Christians

The decision has sparked anger, with one parent saying: ‘What is uninclusive about Christmas and Easter? Who has complained about the names of the terms?

‘It has a Church of England ethos and the vast majority of pupils are Christian. What is the need to be ‘inclusive at every touchpoint’? This is wokery run riot for no reason at all.’

Despite the change, the 800-pupil school’s Christmas charity sale, which has run since 1944, will go ahead with the same name.

Ms Goldsmith, who became the 144-year-old school’s first female head in March, urges parents and pupils to follow her on Instagram, where she styles herself as ‘Head in Heels’, explaining: ‘It’s not much of a secret that I love shoes.’ 

Former poet laureate Sir John Betjeman was a former pupil and four years ago a plaque was unveiled to mark the centenary of his arrival at the school. 

One of his contemporaries was Hugh Gaitskell, the former Labour Party leader.

Other well-known Old Dragons, as ex-pupils are known, include Scotland Yard Commissioner Cressida Dick, the actors Hugh Laurie, Tom Hollander, Tom Hiddleston and Jack Davenport, and comedian Jack Whitehall.

The school said no one had complained about the Christmas and Easter term titles.

Emma Goldsmith, head teacher at Dragon School (pictured) in Oxford, told parents that the change was to try and ‘be inclusive at every touchpoint’

Despite the change, the 800-pupil school’s (pictured) Christmas charity sale, which has run since 1944, will go ahead with the same name

In a statement to The Mail on Sunday, Ms Goldsmith said: ‘The decision to rename our terms at the school is one of practicality and inclusivity.

‘Our autumn term starts in September, for example, and to refer to it as Christmas term, when the children have already broken up long before the celebration, can sometimes lead to confusion.’

She added: ‘I’ve received such positive feedback from our community, who have remarked not only how much clearer the new term names are to understand, but also how thoughtful our decision was. 

‘With current pupils from across 35 different nationalities and all major religions, I am proud that we are able to reflect our diverse community, and that we remain respectful and inclusive to all those we represent.

‘As you’d expect from a school with a Christian ethos, Christian celebrations play an important part in our calendar and we are already enthusiastically planning for the myriad of events, performances, services and concerts… with so much we’ve had to adapt or postpone over the past 18 months, this year’s Christmas tree will be bigger than ever.’

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