Independent School Parent


One parent of two Manchester High students explains what led her to choose this educationa­l path for her daughters


Sarah Ramsbottom is managing director of a property developmen­t company and has two daughters Flo and Evie, who are in year 8 and year 11 respective­ly, at Manchester High. Her husband went to Rugby. Sarah, who is also the chair of the school’s

PTA attended a co-ed state school and cites Manchester High’s single-sex environmen­t as the main reason for sending her daughters there.

She says: “It’s an exceptiona­l school where girls are able to follow their dreams. When I was at school, girls who wanted to study law or STEM subjects struggled to be taken seriously. Despite low expectatio­ns, I qualified as a lawyer.

“To a large extent it was the single-sex environmen­t, facilities, personalis­ed tuition and teachers that swayed our choice. I think the single-sex environmen­t is important if your daughters are bright.

The school’s foundation­s were laid by forward-thinking Victorians who believed that girls should be educated. Walking through the corridors today, you can still feel that ethos.

“As well as being academical­ly excellent, it’s also very friendly. Although its ethos is to educate the very best female talent,

GCSE and A-level grades aren’t the sole focus. The teachers really care about the girls. When it comes to pastoral care, the school goes above and beyond. There’s an understand­ing of what wellbeing support is necessary for girls, physically and emotionall­y: school nurses are always available to help, and counsellin­g is also on oŒer for any students who feel they need it.

“And it’s not just about the exam results: for example, Balance Week which forms part of the school’s wellbeing programme, where girls can enjoy some downtime by taking up anything from yoga to powerlifti­ng.

“The extracurri­cular activities selection on oŒer is vast: one of my daughters plays five sports. There’s singing, Carnegie Book shadowing and MUN. The drama oŒering is very strong as is the music, but you don’t have to excel at it all, you can take it at your own pace.

“The PTA instils a sense of community among parents, by inviting them to school events and fairs.

“When it comes to the


forward-thinking Victorians who believed that girls should be educated. YOU CAN STILL FEEL THAT ETHOS

future, girls are encouraged to have aspiration­s for themselves, to be socially responsibl­e, and to be kind. The school embraces the whole person, including every aspect of a child’s social and developmen­tal needs.”

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