Didsbury High School is a secondary free school in South Manchester. The school is run by the Laurus Trust and aims to replicate the outstanding education already provided by the Trust’s founder school, Cheadle Hulme High School (CHHS). CHHS is a hugely oversubscribed school and was recently named in the Sunday Times ‘Parent Power’ Top 20 comprehensive schools in the country.

Didsbury High School is a non-selective, non-denominational free school. It opened in September 2019, initially providing 210 Year 7 places in eight form groups. A further 210 Year 7 students are added each academic year. In addition, we have opened an academic Sixth Form, for 300 students.

Our students 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 our curriculum here.

Image of Head of School, Katie Houghton

Katie Houghton

Head of School

Since the very moment Didsbury High School opened its door to their students, Katie has been part of the school’s leadership team, driving for brilliant outcomes for the students. She has been the school’s Deputy Head over the last couple of years and feels extremely privileged to become the school’s second ever Head.

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Initially a history teacher and Head of House at Cheadle Hulme High School, Katie gained the post of Assistant Head of school for Didsbury the year before it opened. She has been part of the team that saw Didsbury through from conception to reality. Throughout her years at Didsbury Katie’s energy has been placed in ensuring the students at Didsbury become successful, happy and healthy individuals. A mission she will continue to strive for now as Head.
Katie has lived in Manchester since she went to the University of Manchester to read History in 2008. Katie also gained a PGCE, then later a masters in Education, from Manchester Metropolitan University. She now lives in Didsbury with her young family. Katie is also a keen athlete, and has played semi-professional rugby for Sale Sharks. So, although not a born or bred Mancunian, Manchester holds a very special place in her heart.

Katie is absolutely committed to making Didsbury High School a true community school; a school the staff, students and local residents are extremely proud of.

Executive Head

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 delighted 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.