Didsbury High School is a new secondary free school for 11-18 students in South Manchester. The school will be run by the Laurus Trust and replicate the outstanding education already provided by the trust’s founder school, Cheadle Hulme High School (CHHS).  CHHS, based in Stockport, is a hugely oversubscribed school and was recently named in the Sunday Times ‘Parent Power’ Top 25 comprehensive schools in the country.

Didsbury High School is a non-selective, non-denominational Free School.  It will open in September 2019, initially providing 210 Year 7 places in eight forms.  A further 210 Year 7 students will be added each academic year.  In addition we will open a sixth form, soon after, for 300 students.  We have liaised with the Education team at Manchester City Council on our proposal and the school will provide much needed additional secondary places for children in Manchester.

Our students will have access to state of the art facilities in a brand new building behind Didsbury Point adjacent to the Siemens building.

You can discover more about the progress of our new school here and our curriculum here. You can also view the design proposals here.

Proposed location of Didsbury High School


Head of School Designate

Before taking up the reins at Didsbury High School, David was a Deputy Headteacher of Cheadle Hulme High School and prior to this he taught for more than 10 years in Manchester. He is a Specialist Leader of Education who supports colleagues and schools across the region.  David is very excited to be the founding Head of School of Didsbury High School.

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In 2008, having achieved the very highest standards of classroom practice, David secured his Advanced Skills Teacher status (AST) in Mathematics. This enabled him to share his skills and experience with other teachers across Greater Manchester. He then went on to develop and lead departments in other schools.

Soon after joining Cheadle Hulme High School, David completed his doctorate in education and now leads the Trust’s Research and Development programme. Through this work he co-founded the North West One Maths Hub which works to improve the teaching of mathematics across Greater Manchester and beyond.

Having been born and raised in Didsbury, David is committed to ensuring the very best education and opportunities for the children of Manchester and firmly believes that second best for anyone simply will not do.

CEO of Laurus Trust and Executive Headteacher of Cheadle Hulme High School, Laurus Cheadle Hulme, Laurus Ryecroft and Didsbury High School

With a career in education spanning more than 35 years, Linda was Headteacher at Cheadle Hulme High School for 14 years, overseeing two successive outstanding Ofsted judgements. She is also an experienced National Leader of Education and an Ofsted Inspector.

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Linda graduated from Manchester University with a BA (Hons) in Economics in 1978. In January 2004, she was appointed Headteacher of CHHS after spending 22 years in teaching.

CHHS is a high performing school – in the top 2% of all schools in the country based on the 2018 examination results. In both the 2011 and 2015 Ofsted Inspections, CHHS was judged to be Outstanding in all categories. CHHS is also a successful Teaching School and SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training). The SCITT was also judged to be outstanding in all areas earlier this year.

Prior to Linda’s move to CHHS, she spent 11 years as a Senior Leader in a variety of contexts, across six different schools in six Local Authorities.

In 2016, Linda was appointed Executive Head of CHHS, Laurus Cheadle Hulme, Laurus Ryecroft and Didsbury High School. and CEO of The Laurus Trust.

Linda holds National Leader of Education status and has extensive experience of effectively supporting schools in challenging circumstances.  She was appointed as an Ofsted Inspector in 2013.

As a mother of four, Linda also has a strong personal grasp of the challenges facing students and their families in the current educational climate.

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