A Beaconsfield school has decided to drop JK Rowling as one of its house names amid huge controversy over her views on gender.

The move has been made by Beaconsfield High School after students questioned the “appropriateness” of having one of their six houses named after the Harry Potter author.

JK Rowling’s stance on trans issues and gender identity – which she outlined in a series of tweets and a long essay back in June last year - has attracted criticism but she vehemently denies she is transphobic.

Just this week, the 55-year-old writer was dropped from a New Zealand book festival’s line-up because they wanted it to be an “inclusive, welcoming place for everyone”.

The girls’ grammar school, in Wattleton Road in Beaconsfield, said discussions over whether they should rename Rowling house was raised as a national debate was going on back in September 2020.

All of the girls were given the option to replace Rowling house with a different inspirational woman within the field of literature, and one who has lived in the last 50 years, because “equality and diversity are values the school embraces and students are actively encouraged to use their voice and raise any concerns that they might have”.

It was decided that Rowling house would be renamed Blackman house in honour of Noughts and Crosses and Pig Heart Boy author Malorie Blackman OBE.

While the Beaconsfield High School Rowling house page on their website has been overhauled and replaced with the Blackman house details, the listing on Google still reveals that the Harry Potter author was once described on their site as an “exceptional woman who inspires many”.

Emma Hobson, one of the heads of Blackman house said: “Once we had decided on a name change, the then heads of Rowling house recorded an assembly for all students to watch during tutor time.

“They discussed the reason behind the name change and the things to consider when choosing a new inspirational house figurehead.

“Students were then sent a form to nominate inspirational women who they thought would be worthy of naming a new House after. Students embraced the opportunity to have their say and it was amazing to see the variety of women nominated.

“The next stage in the process was to collect in all the nominations and create a shortlist. This shortlist included JK Rowling, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman, Maya Angelou and Audre Lorde.”

Rosie Quick, the second head of Blackman house continued: “Once the shortlist had been published, students were asked to cast their vote and say who they would like to see as the name behind the new house.

“It was exhilarating to see so many members of our school community getting involved and all in all 806 – over two thirds of the student population – cast their vote.

“After counting the votes, Malorie Blackman OBE was announced as the replacement to JK Rowling.

“We were really pleased as we feel Malorie Blackman is both a woman who has excelled in her field and an advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement.”

A competition to design a new Blackman house flag was launched, with year 9 pupil Madeleine creating the winning design.

Rowling house will officially become Blackman house in September and its new flag will be hung with the other five houses in the school reception.