Students and staff at The Barlow RC High School in Didsbury have followed in the footsteps of some of the world’s biggest popstars by making their own charity Christmas recording.

Music Teacher Mr Meakin and Year 11 music student Matthew Fitzgerald produced the eight track CD, featuring festive performances from staff and students across the year groups. A special Barlow staff rendition of Band Aid’s ‘Feed the World’ has proved very popular, with numerous requests for it to be played during Form Time, in the last week of term.

The CD features a range of tunes, from traditional Christmas carol ‘O Holy Night’ to modern classics including Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ and an acoustic take on Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’. School rock band ‘Wake up call’ live up to their name with their version of Blink 182’s ‘I won’t be home for Christmas’. 

Headteacher Mrs McCarron said, “Our truly talented students worked hard to produce the CD; they performed brilliantly. We've just had our Ofsted inspection which stated that the school is going from strength-to-strength and remarked upon our flexible and innovative curriculum and stimulating and exciting enrichment activities. As well as an excellent education, we give our students the opportunity to use all their talents, to help them prepare for the lives they have ahead of them.”

Students at The Barlow have always been good at coming up with new ideas to raise money for charity and this year, has been no exception. They have truly embraced the new addition of a recording studio to the school, following its recent refurbishment, and spent December lunchtimes recording the Christmas CD and producing copies to sell for charity. Budding artists got in on the action and created five different pieces of artwork, which were made into CD covers.

The school’s recent Christmas concert infront of a crowd of over two hundred people showcased many of the featured artists and gave the school the ideal opportunity to sell the CD; it went down a storm with the families who attended the celebration. Students have been snapping up copies of the CD in school, with all the money raised going to Manchester’s own Cornerstone Day Centre and orphaned and abandoned children in Bolivia. 

Tracks featured on the CD

1.Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Matthew Fitzgerald

2.All I want for Christmas – Amber Crain

3.Baby it’s cold outside – Victoria Butler & Thomas McCormack

4.I won’t be home – Wake up Call

5.Jingle Bell Rock – Olivia Muldoon & Sophie Fitzgerald

6.Last Christmas – Olivia Williams

7.O Holy Night – Mr McGuire

8.Feed the World – The Barlow Staff


For more information please contact:

Kathryn Carr, Marketing & Communications Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    0161 445 8053 



Excellent results, a national award and now an Ofsted report that praises outstanding leadership, exemplary methods of safeguarding, an innovative curriculum and significantly above average attainment.

The continued success of The Barlow RC High School in Didsbury has been recognised in a recent Ofsted Report. Inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education who visited the school on 16th and 17th October 2012, praised pupils, staff and governors and stated that ‘under passionate, visionary leadership, the school is going from strength-to-strength.’

Inspectors were so impressed with standards across the board; they upped the school’s grading to ‘Good’. They added that The Barlow would achieve the ‘outstanding’ status in the near future, by following recommendations set out to them.

Headteacher Claire McCarron said, “We are delighted the Inspectors recognised that the school has improved rapidly in all aspects since our last inspection only 18 months ago. It is a great testament to the hard work of staff and students alike. We are securely on track and just one short step away from becoming an outstanding school; a goal that we are determined to achieve. We have already implemented additional changes to deliver the areas of further improvement identified in the report.”

Inspectors reported that The Barlow is innovative in developing the curriculum with attainment significantly above average. Pupils achieve well because teaching is consistently good. They stated that behaviour is also consistently good; outstanding in some lessons and that The Barlow has exemplary methods of safeguarding pupils. Bullying is not tolerated and staff at the school go the extra mile to ensure all children are safe and happy.   

It has been an excellent year for The Barlow with GCSE results at the Didsbury school rising significantly for the fourth year in succession. In 2012, 95% of the pupils achieved at least 5 A*- C grades, with 74% including English and Maths. These outstanding results placed The Barlow yet again as one of the highest performing secondary schools in Manchester. In July 2012, The Barlow also received national recognition from The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) for achieving some of the fastest improving GCSE results in the country.  

Paul Chidgey, Chairman of the Governing Body at The Barlow added, “The new, rigorous Ofsted framework raised the bar, yet the report confirms progress at The Barlow is exceptional. Alongside the excellent exam results and our award, it is a wonderful reflection of the hard work and enthusiasm of all the staff who Ofsted state, ‘share the same vision to make the school even better and know how they are going to achieve this goal.’”

The full Ofsted report can be viewed at 

For more information please contact:

Kathryn Carr

Marketing & Communications Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    0161 445 8053 


Press Release - 15th August 2013

Students at Austin Friars St Monica’s School have recorded 61% overall of top A*, A and B grades at Advanced level in 2013 and an overall pass rate of over 99%.

Headmaster, Matt Harris, said: “This year’s students have achieved some excellent A level results improving on the very pleasing results last year.  We are delighted that over a third of all the grades obtained were A* or A and I would like to congratulate all our students on their hard work to achieve this success.”

Top-scoring students are Ed Ball (4A*), James Leitch (2A*2A), Beth Fenna & Fiona O’Hare (2A*1A), Amy Hill and Pui Yu Liu (1A* 2A) and Hamish Matthews (3A).  

Ed has a scholarship to read Theoretical Physics at Imperial College, James has an Organ Scholarship and is reading Mathematics at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University, Beth is looking to study Accounting and Finance at Leeds, Fiona is off to Glasgow to read Dentistry, Amy is to read Philosophy at St Andrews, Veterinary Medicine beckons for Pui Yu at Edinburgh while Hamish is taking a gap year before reading Medicine in 2014.  



For further information please contact:


Julie Sutherland

Marketing Manager

Austin Friars St Monica’s School

Etterby Scaur




Tel 01228 550760

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Thursday, 23 October 2014 11:29

Children in Need 2014

The CES has received queries from schools wanting advice on whether they can allow pupils to take part in fundraising activities for Children in Need. These activities are often popular but concerns have been expressed that some of the money raised may be spent on either providing or promoting abortion services.

The CES has raised these concerns recently with Children in Need. Please see below the response from Children in Need on these matters:


"You can find information and guidance on the type of projects BBC Children in Need funds in the Guidance section of our website. BBC Children in Need does not fund projects for pregnancy testing; or advice, information or counselling on pregnancy choices."


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