New life on the farm for girls’ headteacher

Jane Prescott (L) who is the new Headmistress at Portsmouth High School with outgoing Headmistress Jenny Clough
Jane Prescott (L) who is the new Headmistress at Portsmouth High School with outgoing Headmistress Jenny Clough
Jonathan Melling from the Elliott Group, inside the current Arundel Court Primary School hall

Plans unveiled for ‘exciting’ overhaul of Portsmouth primary school

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THEY say you should never work with children or animals – but that’s advice Jenny Clough is happy to ignore.

Mrs Clough is stepping down as headteacher of Portsmouth High School after a 27-year career in teaching.

But she won’t be putting her feet up – she’s going to run her sister’s organic farming business in Somerset by developing training courses at a ‘farm school’ there.

Mrs Clough says she will miss staff and students at the Southsea all-girls school, which is celebrating another string of excellent results.

Last month, 22 per cent of students achieved straight A* or A grades in all their A-level subjects.

GCSE results were also up on last year with 99 per cent being awarded the ‘gold standard’ of five or more A* to C grades including English and maths.

She said: ‘Looking back, I’m amazed at all that has been achieved over the last five years. There have been so many high points for me.

‘Much hard work has been undertaken to build a successful curriculum which prepares our girls for the modern world and to extend this with exciting challenges and trips, both at home and abroad.’

Mrs Clough, 50, said she was thrilled to have presided over a £10m investment which funded a new sixth form centre, award-winning gardens and a state-of-the-art sports centre among other things.

She added: ‘PHS girls come from all backgrounds and, acknowledging the dedication of such a talented, professional staff and the valuable support of parents, I’m proud that they all leave equipped to face whatever life throws at them. ‘

She added: ‘I’m sure there will be many challenges to face at the farm school and I’m relishing the opportunity to put my business skills to use.’

Mrs Clough’s successor Jane Prescott is moving to Portsmouth from Loughborough High, a girls’ school in the East Midlands where she was deputy head. She says she is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

She said: ‘I’m delighted to be moving to PHS, and I’m confident that I can build on Jenny’s many successes.’

Mrs Prescott, who served a short service army commission before she became a teacher, added: ‘I am a passionate advocate of single-sex education and, as the mother of one girl and two boys, I know what a difficult and important decision choosing the right school can be.’