Open main menu

Manchester High School for Girls is an independent day school for girls and a member of the Girls School Association. It is situated in Fallowfield, Manchester, England.

Manchester High School for Girls
MHSG front entrance.JPG
Manchester High School for Girls is located in Greater Manchester
Manchester High School for Girls
Manchester High School for Girls
Manchester High School for Girls is located in England
Manchester High School for Girls
Manchester High School for Girls
Manchester High School for Girls is located in the United Kingdom
Manchester High School for Girls
Manchester High School for Girls
Grangethorpe Road

M14 6HS

CoordinatesCoordinates: 53°26′49″N 2°13′16″W / 53.447°N 2.221°W / 53.447; -2.221
TypeIndependent day school
MottoToday's Students, Tomorrow's Successful Women
Religious affiliation(s)Mixed
Local authorityManchester
Department for Education URN105592 Tables
HeadmistressClaire Hewitt
Age4 to 18
Enrolmentc. 950

The head teacher is Claire Hewitt who took up the position in January 2009[1] and is the 10th head teacher in the school's history.



The Manchester High School for Girls, Dover Street (since 1947 part of the Victoria University of Manchester)

The school was founded in 1874 by nine men and women who were prominent citizens of Manchester: it was first established in Chorlton on Medlock. A new school was built in Dover Street in 1881. (The building is now occupied by the University of Manchester School of Social Sciences).[2] The founding group included Prof Augustus Samuel Wilkins, Harriet, Robert Dukinfield Darbishire and Edward Donner (afterwards Sir Edward Donner, Bart.)[3] The first headmistress was Elizabeth Day. Day was replaced as head by Sara Annie Burstall in 1898.[4]

In September 1939 the school was evacuated to Cheadle Hulme and by 1940 a new school building was under construction at Fallowfield. The unfinished buildings at the Grangethorpe Road site were destroyed by bombing on 20 December 1940. In 1941 the school moved temporarily to Didsbury and by 1949 a new building at Grangethorpe Road began to be occupied. The move into the new school was complete by 1952. The Grangethorpe site was occupied by a large private house and gardens from 1882 to 1936.[citation needed]

Preparatory department and Senior SchoolEdit

Manchester High School for Girls has a Preparatory Department for girls aged 4 to 11 with the majority progressing into the Senior School. Prep pupils benefit from a close community which includes a purpose-built infant section, two assembly halls and a fully equipped playground and gardens. There are also specially designated areas for Mathematics and Science, a music room, library and two computer-suites providing multi-media facilities. In 2006, the school introduced the teaching of Mandarin to girls in Years 3 and 4.[citation needed]

Manchester High's curriculum includes traditional disciplines such as Latin and use of ICT resources. Pupils are also tutored in areas such as Mathematics, Sciences and Art and Design Technology. MHSG is a multi-cultural school embracing many faiths. Assemblies are organised by Sixth Form students and include Christian, Hindu and Sikh, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim and Secular themes.[citation needed]

A purpose-built Music House has 12 practice rooms and several classrooms, including one with space for orchestra rehearsals. Tuition is provided by over 25 specialist instrumental teachers. A flood-lit, all-weather hockey pitch, tenniscourts, netball courts, rock climbing wall and swimming pool all provide facilities for all-year-around sports.[citation needed]

Organisation and curriculumEdit

There are four forms in each year, M, H, S and G and students placed in these forms remain in that form until Sixth Form. Manchester High's Sixth Form offers AS Level and A Level courses in around 25 subjects[citation needed].

The curriculum contains English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, French, Religious Studies, Music, Latin and Art (which deviates into Fine Art or Graphics in Y10). These subjects are taken in Y7, Y8 and Y9 when students choose which subjects to take for GCSE[citation needed].

In the first month of the school year, 7 senior school students visit the YHA Lakeside Outdoor Activity Centre on the bank of Windermere. During this trip, students participate in activities such as archery, orienteering and team challenges to allow students to make new friends and meet teachers outside the school environment[citation needed].


For the academic year 2017/18 fees ranged from £8,337 per annum for infants to £11,472 per annum for seniors.[5]

Former staffEdit

  • Edith Aitken, the first head of Pretoria High School for Girls[6]
  • Elizabeth Day, the first headmistress of the school
  • Sara Annie Burstall, the second headmistress of the school
  • Catherine Chisholm (1879–1952), Manchester High School doctor: 1908 – 1944, GP and paediatrician: the first woman to graduate from Manchester University Medical School in 1904, founder of the Manchester Babies Hospital [later the Duchess of York Hospital] in 1914, in 1950 became the first woman to be awarded an honorary Fellowship by the Royal College of Physicians.

Notable former pupilsEdit


  1. ^ "London Society events". Manchester High School for Girls. 2011. Archived from the original on 29 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Manchester High School for Girls". Ardwick Heritage Trail. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  3. ^ 100 Years of Manchester High School for Girls, 1874–1974. Manchester: Manchester High School for Girls (compiled by K. L. Hilton)
  4. ^ Sara Annie Burstall, Oxford Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 30 January 2016
  5. ^
  6. ^ Barbara E. Megson, 'Aitken, Edith (1861–1940)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 12 June 2017
  7. ^ Andrew Davidson; Clara Freeman (interviewee). "It's challenge in spades for Marks & Spencer's first female executive director as she attempts to dig retail stores out of trouble". Management Today. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  • 100 Years of Manchester High School for Girls, 1874–1974. Manchester: Manchester High School for Girls (Contributions by 16 women associated with the school, compiled by K. L. Hilton)
  • Burstall, Sara Annie (1911). The story of the Manchester High School for Girls, 1871–1911. Publications of the University of Manchester; Educational Series; Vol. 6. Manchester University Press.

External linksEdit