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Love or loathe it, new school name causes a stir

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NAMING the proposed new 11 to 18 school Lisia has stirred considerable debate.

The Pokemon character Lisia.

While some did not care for the name, others actively disliked it, many had never heard of it, while others pointed out it was the name of a Pokemon character.

Lisia is the oldest known recorded name for Guernsey and it is thought to have been given by the Romans.

However, while most islanders will know Sarnia and Sarnia

Cherie, Lisia is less commonly known.

Education, Sport & Culture president Matt Fallaize said the committee hoped that the names chosen serve to inspire students, celebrate Guernsey’s history and look to the future. It has decided the two colleges within the school will be called de Saumarez and Victor Hugo.

Parent of a Vauvert School leaver, Sonia Leivars, agreed with Deputy Fallaize’s comments.

‘It is the history of the island so go on, why not, let’s go with it,’ she said.

‘I am sure people will get used to it soon enough anyway.’

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On the Guernsey Press website, Trudie said: ‘I genuinely feel sorry for the children having to put this name on their CVs and the fact they’ll have to explain it every time, will it honestly be taken seriously outside of Guernsey?’

PLP added: ‘I’m afraid this whole thing makes me think Education leadership are living in a wonderful dreamland bubble of fantasy. Pokemon land perhaps? The quicker that bubble gets burst the better for the island’s children. How many people had heard of Lisia before apart from in a textbook? I certainly can’t remember anyone ever referring to Guernsey as Lisia in nearly 40 years of local life. If they wanted a historic name representing Guernsey surely Sarnia School would’ve been better as it’s also Roman, widely recognised locally and still used in contemporary parlance.’

Just Games manager JP Hunnisett thought there would be little risk of people confusing the school and the Pokemon character, given her obscurity.

‘I wouldn’t worry too much about that, they add new characters all the time and it could have been any in the last 200. Actually I think the name sounds fair enough and is actually quite a good name for a school,’ said Mr Hunnisett.

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A running theme among concerns over the name was the time taken on every occasion to explain what Lisia means.

Seb Lowe did not think the name of a school should matter.

‘But you are going to have to be explaining this to people all of the time, like you just did to me, and I’m local – imagine when you get to the UK.’

n Education still needs to secure States support for the funding needed for its transformation plans, with a debate likely in September.

Yves Le

By Yves Le
News reporter

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