There were a few repeated topics of conversation at our recent Open Evening, so we thought it might be useful to put our answers together in one place and share them with you.
Where will the new building be located?
Our brand new state of the art building will be located near the borders of the Chorlton Park, Didsbury West and Old Moat wards. We are currently in negotiations with the Department for Education about our proposed site. We have located our site and talks are well underway to secure it. We can’t wait to share this news with you, but until the site is secured we are unable to share any details about it. We will provide any site updates as soon as we are able to through our mail group, our website www.chssouth.org.uk, and our Twitter account @southchs.
Where will the temporary site be located?
We hope our new building will be completed in September 2020, so for the first two years we will be housed on a temporary site within the grounds of Chorlton High School. We have met with the DfE who have begun the planning process for a temporary site of mobile classrooms to house up to 500 children located on a piece of our land behind the school Astroturf. The classrooms will have all of the facilities of a regular Chorlton High School classroom, including specialist provision equipment where appropriate. There will also be dedicated toilet facilities on this site for CHS South students too.
Why are you opening on a temporary site?
There is a shortage of secondary school places in Manchester for the current Year 6. It is our opinion that the Central / South area of the city would benefit from additional capacity delivered by a strong provider with a good track record and evidence of effective school improvement. Chorlton High School is oversubscribed and increasing in popularity, so we have decided to meet the need of our community by opening CHS South in time to offer 240 places for current Year 6 students.
How will the temporary site be accessed?
Students will enter and exit the site through any of the usual Chorlton High School gate entrances. The reception for parents will be located at the front of Chorlton High School.
What if the new building isn’t ready in September 2020?
The DfE will only agree to fund the construction of the temporary site if they believe the permanent site will be viable by the agreed date.
How will you manage the increase in numbers on the Chorlton High School site?
The temporary site will be separate from the main building at Chorlton High School and will operate independently. Currently we are only planning for CHS South students to access Chorlton High School during their school day for their CHS South lunch, which will take place when all Chorlton High students are in lessons.
We are currently exploring the structure of the CHS South school day and we will consider timings to ensure most effective use of space and facilities for both CHS South and Chorlton High School students. There may be a small number of occasions where we need to access some of Chorlton High’s other facilities as the curriculum dictates, but we don’t intend this to be a regular occurrence; we will also make effective use of the wealth of specialist provision available in the Manchester community. To ensure that CHS South students don’t feel isolated from their Chorlton High neighbours we will plan some shared enrichment activities for extended learning experience days and for extracurricular activities.
Who will be the Head teacher?
Andy Park will remain the Executive Head teacher of our schools, Zoe Morris will remain Head teacher of Chorlton High School and we will appoint a new Head teacher for CHS South. The recruitment process will begin shortly.
Will it be staffed by Chorlton High staff?
In our first year we will appoint a number of dedicated CHS South staff but we have also built capacity into the staffing structure at Chorlton High School to allow flexibility in staffing both schools. As CHS South grows and develops we will appoint a full complement of dedicated CHS South staff.
How do you know it will be a good school?
The school is intended to replicate the provision offered by Chorlton High School, with a proven track record of excellence. We will have mirror values, ethos, curriculum and policies; the only difference will be the colour of the school logo and tie!
Until a permanent site has been confirmed, where will the distance criteria be measured from if used to refine applications?
The DfE have advised us that until we have a permanent site, the distance should be measure from the centre of the temporary site.
How will you know if you’ve been allocated a place?
You will be informed by post on 1st March 2018. This offer will be a provisional offer until CHS South is fully approved to open. At this point we will write to you to confirm your offer. You will then have the opportunity to accept or decline the offer by contacting Chorlton High School.