The Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS) is a leading co-educational day school, educating pupils from Pre-School to Sixth Form on one site. There is a strong whole-school ethos, and an emphasis on full participation both inside and outside of the classroom. PGS pupils are encouraged to think not only about where they will be at 18, but where they aspire to be at 25.

This is a really exciting time for PGS with the arrival of Dr Anne Cotton as the first female Head of School in January 2019, and we were thrilled to offer our support on this key appointment.

PGS sought an outstanding leader with the vision, energy and focus required to lead and manage a highly successful Junior School. It was important that the appointed individual held a firm belief in the benefits of a through-school education, a commitment to supporting every child to achieve their maximum potential, and the right personal leadership style to encourage close collaboration with other senior leaders across the School.

Society set out to identify qualified Junior / Prep School leaders, engaging individuals from across the state and independent sectors, both in the UK and overseas. Crucially, candidates had to demonstrate a close alignment with the values and ethos of PGS in their approach to leadership.

Amy Wilson-Smith studied at the University of York and actually taught at PGS earlier in her career. She held various teaching and leadership roles within the Junior School between 2001-2007, including Head of Infants. In 2007, she moved north to St. Wystan’s School, Repton and Dunhurtst School and then subsequently embarked on an adventure overseas with Brighton College Abu Dhabi, where she is currently Deputy Head of the Prep School.

On her appointment to this post and return to PGS, Amy said: “I am thrilled and excited to be re-joining The Junior School in April 2020… Portsmouth has felt like home to me since 2001 and I cannot wait to return. I feel privileged to be joining a highly dedicated team and very much look forward to meeting pupils, parents, staff and all within our wider community.”

On working with Society, she added: “Society were extremely helpful, professional, thorough and transparent throughout the process of applying for a Headship. At every stage, they were interested in gaining feedback on the procedure and were available to answer any questions I had.”