THE new headteacher of a mixed-sex school which is preparing to welcome girls for the first time has said its pupils will be the pioneers of the future.
Formerly the City of Portsmouth Boys School, Trafalgar School in Hilsea will start teaching girls from September.
It comes amid a row over plans for The Portsmouth Academy for Girls to start teaching boys.
But Sian Sewell, the new headteacher at Trafalgar School said she believes mixed education does work, and she hopes pupils go on to prove her right.
‘I think the girls are going to be a really important part of the school and its direction for the future,’ she said.
‘I’m really excited about the shape that the school is going to take.
I think the girls are going to be a really important part of the school and its direction for the futureSian Sewell, headteacher
‘I think there’s a lot of research to say that mixed sex schools do really well. I think the girls will bring a new element to the school.
‘The Year 7 boys are used to having girls already in their classes. I think they will be a really welcome addition to the school. The rest of the boys are excited about them being here and I think we will have a really good, inclusive school community.’
A total of 38 girls will begin as Year 7 pupils and each year that number will rise.
Ms Sewell comes to the school after spending 10 years as deputy headteacher at Cowplain Community School. She also works for Ofsted and has inspected more than 10 schools over the last two years.
Ms Sewell takes over from retiring headteacher Mike Smith.
‘I have a real vision for the children of Portsmouth,’ she added.
‘I want to make this school a really good school, a centre of excellence for children that come here.
‘I can’t wait to get started. It will be great to be here in September.
‘It’s a fantastic time to be joining Trafalgar. The girls that are joining us are going to be the pioneers of the future.
‘Together that Year 7 learning community is going to be driving forward the future of Tragalgar.
‘I am already really proud of this school and am passionate about it being the best. We won’t be complacent at this school. We will constantly be reviewing our practice.’
The school made the decision to teach girls after there was a lack of demand in the city for an all-boys school.
The Portsmouth Academy for Girls is waiting to hear from the education Funding Agency (EFA) as to whether or not the application has been successful.