History - Portsmouth High School


Portsmouth High School has a long history of academic achievement with an enviable reputation for success in public examinations year after year.

In the 1870s the Girls’ Public Day School Trust was founded under the patronage of HRH Princess Louise.

The new company offered to open a school in any district where there was a subscription for at least 400 shares. In Portsmouth, Mr W Edmonds, a member of a local firm of accountants, and Canon Grant, Vicar of Portsmouth, succeeded in raising 560 shares and scoured the city for a suitable house to start a High School in.

They settled on Marlborough House, a large semi-detached villa in Osborne Road which then had a view over Southsea Common to the sea.

In late 1881 Miss Alice Ledger was appointed as the first Headmistress, and the school began to take shape. It was not quite ready by the beginning of the Spring Term, but opened at half-term, on 21st February 1882. There were 32 pupils to begin with, and this very soon grew to 100, when the adjoining house, Burlington House, was added. The school continued to grow and in 1883 the current site on Kent Road was purchased.

Today the school specializes in a first-class independent education for girls from rising 3 in the Pre-School, through to ages 4 to 11 in the Prep School, ages 11 to 16 in the Senior School and from 16 to 18 years in the Sixth Form. It is a selective school where girls of average ability and above can achieve success both academically and in a wide range of co-curricular challenges beyond the classroom.

To find out more about Portsmouth High School’s unique history visit our dedicated history website at http://www.portsmouthhighhistory.co.uk/