The history of a community will be lost should the name of two merging Batley schools be changed.
That is the view from parents and community members who have reacted angrily to news that the new school in Upper Batley Lane will be named Windmill CE Primary.
Brownhill St Saviour’s Junior School and Brownhill Infant School will merge to create a new primary school for four- to 11-year-olds under council plans.
The new name was chosen from a shortlist of five by pupils, families and staff.
But locals have claimed the change would erase long-standing ties between the school, St Saviour’s Church and the area’s history.
Sally Thornton, of Hillhead Drive, said: “I know some of the people who suggested it do not live around here.
“I have lived in the area for 17 years and they are not aware of the heritage at risk.”
Sarah Cockerham, whose children attended both schools, added: “When the old school in Intake Lane was too small, the council got together with St Saviour’s church and built two new schools.
“The council funded the infants and the church funded the juniors. To not be involved was upsetting.”
More than 300 people have joined an online campaign opposing the name change.
The list of names offered included Brownhill St Saviour’s CE Primary, Brownhill CE Primary, Brownhill Parish CE Primary and St Saviour’s CE Primary.
There were 859 votes cast with 291 voting in favour of Windmill CE Primary.
Former chairman of governors of Brownhill St Saviour’s Junior School Simon Day criticised the voting process.
He said: “The naming of a school, particularly a church school is a serious business and should be made by responsible adults.
“Among the suggestions from the children were Royal Jewels Primary and Wildback Primary, which illustrates why governors are charged with making the decision.
“The school, the parish and the local community are permanent. The community have never been consulted on this.”
Brownhill St Saviour’s Junior School head teacher Paul Morton said: “We have been clear that everyone in the local community could get involved in developing the new school.
“Governors agreed in October a shortlist of names would be drawn up, with votes then invited from anyone who wanted to express a view.
“We acknowledge that some people are disappointed with the outcome, but this can be the nature of a fair and democratic voting process.
“The majority view has been followed and we hope all parents, along with the wider community, will get behind the new school and the opportunities it brings for pupils.”