Withington is a leading day school for 720 girls aged 7-18 in which some of the best academic results in the country are attained within a lively, happy and caring environment. Our outstanding record of achievement is complemented by extensive range of extra-curricular opportunities and special attention is paid to pupils' personal, spiritual, moral and social development.
Mrs Sarah Haslam (Headmistress)
Religious affiliation: All Faiths
Day/boarding type: Day
Gender profile: Girls only
Day fees per term:
£3,446 to £4,593
Scholarships & bursaries:
ISC reference number:
DfE reference number:
352 / 6033
Girls - age range & pupil numbers:
Day: 7 to 18 (719)
Sixth Form: (144)
Withington Girls’ School was founded in 1890 by a small group of eminent and far-sighted Manchester families who wanted the same educational opportunities to be available for their daughters as were already available to their sons. In keeping with the Founders’ wishes, the School has remained relatively small, with approximately 720 pupils; 150 in the Junior School (Years 3 – 6), 420 in the Senior School (Years 7 - 11) and 150 in the Sixth Form. The Head of Withington Girls’ School is a member of both the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC).
Public examination results consistently place Withington amongst the top schools in the UK. Sixth Formers leave to study a wide range of degree courses at leading universities in the UK and overseas. Results in A-Level and GCSE examinations have seen Withington ranked in national league tables as the top girls’ independent school in the north of England and Withington was named the Northwest Independent School of the Decade in the Sunday Times Schools Guide 2021.
Academic excellence is secured alongside an extensive range of extra-curricular opportunities, including Music, Drama, Sport, Mathematics, Linguistics and Science Olympiads, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Young Enterprise Scheme, Model United Nations, Debating and Robotics Clubs, to name but a few. Sixth Formers work as voluntary assistants in various community settings, including local primary schools, residential homes and the local foodbank as well as a long term partnership project in The Gambia. All pupils throughout the School engage in charity fundraising, collectively raising around £30,000 a year. Academic departments offer subject-related trips and activities in addition to cultural trips and sporting tours at home and overseas.
Pupils come from a wide geographical area around the Greater Manchester region as well as elsewhere in the UK and overseas, from many different social, cultural and religious backgrounds, creating a diversity in which the School rejoices. The School is non-denominational and girls of all faiths, or none, are equally welcome. Through the Withington Girls’ School Trust, up to 100 means-tested bursaries are offered each year according to need. The Governing Body is strategically focused and highly supportive of all areas of the School.
The forward-looking development programme has, over the last 13 years, provided a new Sixth Form Centre together with six new classrooms (which were opened in May 2009), a refurbished Art Room (opened in 2012) and a number of new facilities opened in September 2015 including a purpose-built Junior School, an expanded and re-equipped suite of Chemistry laboratories, a Design Technology workroom and a central ‘Hub’ which provides exhibition and social space for pupils as well as facilitating access to all the School’s main buildings. A new Sport & Fitness Centre was officially opened by Dame Sarah Storey DBE in July 2018 providing an expanded area for sports and PE; viewing galleries; a large fitness suite; a ‘mind and body’ studio and a welcoming reception and hospitality area. In 2022, the final phase of the development programme saw the opening of an extended and refurbished dining room and a first-floor extension incorporating a conference room, pastoral offices and a learning support centre.
The Development Office has strong links with alumnae as well as former and current parents and staff and has been successful in raising substantial amounts for the Bursary Appeal, for the new Chemistry laboratories and for an Annual Fund which enables enrichment activities for current pupils. Withington Onwards (the past pupils’ association) and the Parent Teacher Association are active in, and committed to, supporting the School socially and financially. There are also close links with the local community including, for example, the Saturday morning lessons run by the School for gifted and talented boys and girls from local primary schools under the SHiNE Together programme. Also, the Manchester Sings initiative which sees the School’s Director of Music rehearse a programme of inspirational songs at seven local primary schools in the Autumn term, culminating in a massed choir performance by all seven schools and the Withington choir at Manchester Cathedral.
The excellent quality of teaching is a major factor in the exceptional level of achievement secured by pupils, both within and outside the classroom. Staff are eager to share their passion and enthusiasm for their subjects and give willingly of their time to assist individual pupils outside lesson times; the relationship between pupils and staff is a particular strength of the School. The golden rule of respect for self, respect for others and personal responsibility underpins our school community, in which diversity is celebrated, teamwork valued and every pupil is encouraged to play their part, with older pupils and alumnae providing inspirational role models. Pupils thrive within the warm, friendly and supportive environment. At home or abroad, Withington girls attract positive comments and we are just as proud of them as they are of their School.
Special Education Needs
The school has an active Learning Support Department with provision that spans both the Junior and Senior Schools. The members of the Department work collaboratively to support a wide range of learning needs. The Head of Learning Support (SENCO) liaises with pupils, teachers, parents, the pastoral team and, when relevant, external professionals and agencies with the shared aim of meeting individual needs and giving every pupil the opportunity to reach their full potential. Access Arrangements for public examinations are managed in collaboration with the Examinations Office and, wherever possible, replicated for internal assessments.
Disclaimer: Data is provided by the school, ISC is not responsible for inaccuracies