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THE new headteacher of a Portsmouth girls school has promised a bright future for its pupils.

Natalie Sheppard has joined the Portsmouth Academy for Girls, formerly the City of Portsmouth Girls’ School in Fratton.

ARRIVAL Natalie Sheppard, the new headteacher at Portsmouth Academy for Girls

ARRIVAL Natalie Sheppard, the new headteacher at Portsmouth Academy for Girls

Ms Sheppard grew up in Portsmouth and attended Portsmouth High School, and then moved to London where she worked in schools for 11 years.

Now she has moved back to her hometown and is hoping to make a difference at the school, which converted to academy status in September.

Previously, Ofsted had placed the City of Portsmouth Girls’ School into special measures but converting to academy status has taken the school out of it.

Ms Sheppard said: ‘When this opportunity arose I was very excited to come home and make a difference to this community.

‘The school is on a journey to being outstanding. It’s got a great platform.

‘Ofsted will come back at some point over the next year. We will be going for a good.

Ms Sheppard said she is optimistic about the future of the school, which saw a 20 per cent rise this year in the number of pupils gaining five or more A*-C grades at GCSE level.

‘The school has had a very impressive rise in results already and is the most improved school in Portsmouth,’ she said.

‘I’m very passionate about the girls and their education and supporting them to become more resilient, independent, enthusiastic young women who aspire to achieve whatever they want in life.’