The Barlow RC High School

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The Barlow Roman Catholic High School
Established 1985
Type Voluntary aided school
Religion Roman Catholic
Headteacher Mrs C. McCarron
Location Parrs Wood Road

M20 6BX
England Coordinates: 53°24′54″N 2°13′12″E / 53.415°N 2.220°E / 53.415; 2.220
Local authority Manchester
DfE number 352/4768
DfE URN 105581 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–16
Colours Maroon

The Barlow RC High School is a comprehensive school in Didsbury in south Manchester, England. Dedicated to Saint Ambrose Barlow, the local, Catholic martyr and saint, the school was established in 1985 by the merger of Hollies RC High School for Girls and St Mark's RC High School for Boys.

The Barlow is an inclusive Roman Catholic Secondary School in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford maintained by the Manchester Education Authority. The parish communities served by the school are St Ambrose, St Bernard's, St Bernadette's, St Catherine's and St Cuthbert's and many from outside the parishes because parents are attracted by the school's ethos. The school's associated primary schools are St Ambrose, St Bernard's, St Catherine's and St Cuthbert's.

Exam Results[edit]

In 2012 the school's GCSE results improved for the fourth year in succession. 95% of pupils achieved at 5 A*-C grades, including 74% with English and Maths. The results placed the school as one of the highest performing secondary schools in Manchester. In July 2012, it received national recognition from the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT)for achieving some of the fastest improving GCSE results in the country.

Ofsted Report[edit]

Inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education who visited the school on 16 and 17 October 2012, praised pupils, staff and governors and stated that 'under passionate, visionary leadership, the school is going from strength-to-strength.' Inspectors reported that the school is innovative in developing the curriculum and attainment is significantly above average. Pupils achieve well because teaching is consistently good as is behavior and the school has exemplary methods of safeguarding pupils.


In April 2010 a programme of building work costing about £11.2 million began as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme, the Labour Government's investment programme to refurbish secondary schools in England. The first phase was completed in summer 2011 and in September, a high-specification science block opened. At the heart of the school's specialism, the building houses three specialist and two multi-use laboratories, two science studios, an ICT learning area and two preparation rooms. The facilities were additional to a drama and dance studio, sports hall, ICT suites and astro turf pitch. The renovation concluded in August 2012 with remodelled English, Maths, Design & Technology and Art departments. The school has facilities for supporting high-quality teaching and pupil involvement. The classrooms have interactive technology, including computers, laptops, whiteboards and projectors.