About Denise Shepherd



Denise Shepherd has made a difference in the lives of many students in the UK and has shown others how to turn around struggling schools. She began her adult life by attending the University of Keele, where she studied History and Politics with Physics. Her focus then shifted to education and she received a Postgraduate Certificate of Education from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

In 1988 she began to teach at Chatham Grammar School for Girls in Kent, before pursuing a master’s degree in Historical Studies. In 1999 she received her first post as Deputy Head Teacher at Eastbourne Comprehensive in Darlington, before transferring to St. Anselm’s in Kent.

2003 would mark her first appointment as a Principal. Ms. Shepherd was one of the youngest principals in the UK at age 36, but the Rochester Grammar School would be well served by her leadership. She guided the school through two Ofsted inspections, with improvement shown each time.

Her ability to rescue failing schools was recognised. In 2009 she was asked by the Local Authority to use her skills to save the St. John Fisher School. She took on the role of Executive Principal and with hard work it was judged to be “good” by Ofsted in 2011.

Under her guiding hand Rochester Grammar School improved steadily. It consistently ranks in the top 30 state schools in the UK according to The Times. It is also in the top five percent of state schools, based on progress made by students. Ms. Shepherd brings energy and discipline to her work, with exemplary results to show for her methods.

When she isn't working, she enjoys reading, with Dickens being one of her favourite authors. A trip to the Maldives impressed her with their beauty and she remembers her time there fondly. Denise Shepherd currently keeps a residence in Kent and is employed at the Khalsa Academies Trust in Stoke Poges as their Director of Education and Accounting Officer. She keeps fit by running 70km a week, to supplement her workouts at home.

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