Withington Girls’ School was founded in 1890 by a small group of eminent and far-sighted Manchester families who wanted the same educational opportunities 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 650 pupils; 90 in the Junior School (Years 3 – 6) and 170 in the Sixth Form.
Public examination results consistently place Withington among the top ten schools in the UK. In 2014, at A Level our pupils were awarded 96% A*, A and B grades, with 79% achieving A* or As; at GCSE 69.2% of all entries achieved A* grades, and 93.3% A* or A grades, defying a national downwards trend. Sixth Formers leave us to study for degrees in a wide range of subjects at leading institutions; over 90% go on to study at one of the country’s 30 most selective universities and 10% -15% gain places at Oxford or Cambridge each year.
Academic excellence is secured alongside an extensive range of extra-curricular opportunities, including Music, Drama, Sport, Mathematics and Science Olympiads, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Young Enterprise Schemes, Model United Nations, Bridge and Robotics. Sixth Formers work as voluntary assistants in local primary schools, a centre for severely disabled children, residential homes, hospices and hospitals. All girls, throughout the School, engage in charity fundraising, collectively raising over £27,000 in 2014. There are special links with Barnardo’s, two schools and a hospital in Kenya and a school in Uganda. A group of Upper Sixth Formers engage in voluntary projects in The Gambia each December and pupils take part in annual World Challenge Expeditions, the most recent expedition being to the Ladakh region of Northern India. Academic departments offer subject-related trips and activities in addition to cultural trips at home and overseas.
Pupils come from a wide geographical area and from many different social and cultural 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 WGS Trust, approximately 90 means-tested bursaries are offered to Senior School pupils each year and a forward-looking development programme has, over the last ten years, provided new Sports, English, Drama and Music facilities, an extended and refurbished Science Wing and a multi-media Language Laboratory. A state-of-the-art Sixth Form Centre, together with six new classrooms, opened in May 2009. A new Junior School building and a central “Hub” area are due for completion by September 2015. The Development Office has strong links with alumnae and organised the 100+ Bursary Appeal which reached its £2 million target in 2011. The Withington Onwards (past pupils) and Parent Teacher Association committees are active in, and committed to, supporting the School and there are close links with the local community. The Governing Body is forward-looking and supportive of all areas of the School.
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; a particular strength of the School is the relationship between pupils and staff.
The School runs on the 3 Rs of Respect for self, Respect for others, and Responsibility for personal actions and its pupils thrive within the warm, friendly and supportive environment. At home or abroad, Withington girls are excellent ambassadors for the School and we are just as proud of them as they are of their School.
Fees for the 2014/2015 academic year (per term):
Senior School and Sixth Form : £3600
Junior School: £2675