CHS South New Free School Proposal

The CHS Learning Trust proposes to establish a Free School in the Central/South area of Manchester to meet the growing demand for secondary school places in the area. 

If you are interested in finding out more and wish to keep up to date with the proposed CHS South Free School application please complete our online form

What are we proposing?

The CHS Learning Trust proposes to establish a Free School in the Central / South area of Manchester to meet the growing demand for secondary school places. Ideally we would wish for our new school to be located near the borders of the Chorlton Park, Didsbury West and Old Moat wards. The working name for our school will be CHS South.

CHS South will be an eight-form entry, mixed, comprehensive school providing 240 places from Year 7 to Year 11. We propose to open the school in September 2018 with a full 240 place cohort in Year 7. We would then grow to full capacity over a five year period. We do not plan to provide sixth form / post-16 provision.

CHS South will:

  • Be non-selective following locally agreed admissions criteria.

  • Have a truly inclusive approach.

  • Offer an Arts rich, creative and academically rigorous curriculum.

  • Work collaboratively with other schools in our locality and across Manchester.

Why are we proposing this?

There is clear evidence of a shortfall in existing secondary school places across Manchester. In the Central / South areas of the city the Local Authority forecast that there will be a shortfall of at least 220 Year 7 places in 2018 which will increase to a shortfall of 460 Year 7 places in 2019.

We are aware of a continuing growth of primary place provision across this area of the city. This has been on a consistent upward trajectory since 2005 and looks set to continue to grow beyond 2017. This will make the need for additional secondary places across this area of the city more acute.

There is strong parental demand for the existing Chorlton High School within Manchester. Chorlton High School has been consistently oversubscribed over the past 4 years, with parents regularly having to appeal for places in Year 7 and for mid-year admissions.

Over recent years the total number of preferences for Chorlton High School has increased significantly with 833 preferences in 2015 and 897 preferences in 2016 for just 300 Year 7 places.

We have also seen the distance measure for successful applicants reduce from 2.5 miles in 2011, to 1.3 miles in 2016. Our prediction is that this will reduce further due to increased popularity of the school and the significant increase in school-aged population.

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. Our proposed application would address the Basic Need for additional secondary provision in this area of the city. We believe that parents and our local community would welcome this proposal.

Our vision for CHS South:

The delivery model at CHS South will be based upon the structures and processes that have successfully delivered change at Chorlton High School. We will use our curricular strength to ensure that we challenge underperformance and underachievement so that all students can achieve success. We will use our operational strength to ensure that our provision is efficient and effective, accurately targeting resource to need and delivering quality outcomes.

We will offer all our students:

  • An Arts rich, inspiring academic curriculum based around the National Curriculum, underpinned by challenging target setting for attainment and progress.

  • An entitlement for all to access an EBacc curriculum supplemented with high quality vocational qualifications.

  • A clear and consistent approach to skill development based on the ‘Chorlton Qualities of Success’.

  • An absolute commitment to the highest quality teaching in all curriculum areas driven by a range of exciting and aspirational learning experiences.

  • A rich and diverse enrichment curriculum providing a wealth of creative, cultural and social experiences for students delivered outside the standard school day.

We will provide:

  • An ethos rooted in high expectations, high aspirations and also in nurturing positive, respectful and responsible young people.

  • High quality pastoral care and support ensuring that all students are focused on their learning journey and have the structures and provision to succeed.

  • A resolute focus on nurturing, supporting and inspiring all of our students so that they have an excellent foundation for future success.

What we will achieve:

  • We will develop independent learners who seize every educational opportunity.

  • We will enable our students to discover and explore, problem solve and take risks, visualise the future and achieve with confidence.

  • We will have pride in our students who will leave us as well-rounded, confident and respectful citizens.

  • We will be a truly comprehensive school proudly serving our local community.

Why the CHS Learning Trust?

We believe that the CHS Learning Trust is well-positioned to establish a Free School in Central / South Manchester because:

  • We are based locally; currently delivering high quality educational opportunities to over 2,300 students in Manchester.

  • Chorlton High School is a popular, good and improving school, that is well-established in the Central / South area.

  • We have worked alongside Newall Green High School to improve headline outcomes by 17% in the first year

  • We are actively involved in Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and operate as a lead School Direct provider allowing us to engage a highly skilled educational workforce.

  • We have a highly effective CPD programme for all staff enabling us to grow highly quality teachers and leaders from within our Trust, recruiting and retaining the very best staff.

  • We have strong and effective partnerships with other Multi Academy Trusts and Teaching School Alliances.

  • We have good capacity amongst our current middle and senior leaders to establish a new school in this area of Manchester.


Our Trust is built on and driven by a simple set of core values. We are committed to enabling all our students to become:

Creative: Learners who are imaginative risk takers who are prepared for lifelong adaptability.

Happy: Learners who are recognised and rewarded so their confidence comes from within.

Successful: Learners who go further, faster and have the foundations for lifelong success.


The CHS Learning Trust has a good track record and a strong reputation for delivering high quality education for all students. Our Trustees, Governors and

staff are resolutely determined to work hard for our schools and their communities to ensure that all children succeed. 

Why do we need your support?

We are in the process of submitting an application for our proposal to the Department for Education. We now need to demonstrate that there is sufficient parent and community support to justify the establishment of a new school. If you are interested in finding out more and wish to keep up to date with the proposed CHS South Free School application please complete our online form