Having provided a decade of outstanding leadership to The Portsmouth Grammar School, our Headmaster James Priory will be leaving the school in August 2018 to become Headmaster of Tonbridge School in Kent.

During his time here, James has overseen the successful creation of the Bristow Clavell Science Centre, the inspirational new Sixth Form Centre and a new Health and Wellbeing Centre, which will be opened officially at the end of this month. He has led initiatives to enrich the Sixth Form curriculum, including the development of the International Baccalaureate Diploma alongside A Levels to the point where PGS now ranks amongst the best-performing IB Schools in the country. More recently, James helped to launch the William Smith Fund to enable the school to open its doors to more bright and talented boys and girls from the local area through the award of means-tested bursaries.

Chairman of Governors, Brian Larkman, commented, “James’ imagination and enthusiasm have not only enabled significant improvements to be made to the physical facilities of the school but have also maintained a clear focus on improving teaching standards and extending learning opportunities, as recognised by ISI inspectors when they visited the school last year. Although their report reflected the enormous effort made by the whole school team, much of the credit must go to James for the astute and energetic leadership that he provided. Robust pastoral systems have also been put in place, which enable pupils and staff to flourish as individuals while remaining part of a happy and caring community.”

James has also been Chairman of Portsmouth Festivities which each year brings an exciting and vibrant programme of cultural events to the city. There will be more than 100 events held around Portsmouth during the ten days of the festival between 16 and 25 June this year.

“My family and I have been enormously fulfilled at PGS and we will leave with many happy memories,” said James. “When I first came to Portsmouth, I knew that I was joining an outstanding school. It has been fantastic to see PGS develop even further since that time and to become such an integral part of the city through events such as the Festivities. I could not be more proud of all that the pupils and staff achieve here, thanks to the support of parents, governors and alumni too. Whoever is lucky enough to follow me will be inheriting a school in great heart.”

Brian Larkman concluded, “As governors, we are now turning our attention to the task of appointing a worthy successor to take over from James in September 2018. With the school in fine shape and with exciting plans in place for further development of the High Street estate, PGS will be an attractive proposition and we have every confidence that our search will produce a strong field of talented applicants.”