10 best schools in Manchester and where to live nearby

Best school in Manchester and where to live – Salford quays

For families with school-age children, the availability of good schools is always a top consideration when choosing where to live. That’s why we’ve drawn together a list of the best schools in Manchester itself and the Greater Manchester area. This will give you a great idea of where to find the educational clusters of excellence if you’re planning to move here.

Manchester’s best schools are nationally competitive. This is due to a combination of its grammar school history, rising investment and high demand attracting outstanding teachers. The ongoing property development boom affecting Manchester and many of its surrounding towns means that the area is becoming a hotspot for young families moving here.

The following list of the 10 best schools in Manchester comes from the Britannia Studylink Rankings & League Table for 2022. This ranks the top secondary UK state schools in the UK. Look out for a future guide to the top private schools in Manchester, coming soon.

10 Best schools in Manchester – Secondary State Level

1: Altrincham Grammar School for Girls

Ranked 8th nationally

As you’ll come to see from this list, the market town of Altrincham in Trafford, Greater Manchester, is a genuine heavyweight when it comes to state education. The town has no fewer than four schools in the top 10. Impressive enough, but all of them are also ranked within the top 100 schools nationally.

Altrincham Grammar School for Girls (AGGS) was founded in 1910. It has a long, proud tradition of success in cultivating academic and sporting excellence in its students. It also highly values the development of cultural awareness and community service in its students.

Ranked 8th nationally, AGGS is one of the highest performing schools in the country. It is consistently rated outstanding in every area by Ofsted. While it is a non-fee-paying school, it is fully selective, with admissions gained via a successful application.

Where to live nearby:

Vox, M15

Allsop Letting and Management
4.92 (94 reviews) 4.92 (94 reviews)
Area guide to Manchester
Image of Vox, M15

Vox is just off the A56, making it an easy drive down to Altrincham. Vox offers a collection of 1, 2 and 3-bed apartments. Moreover, they are only a short bus away from the city centre. In addition to underbuilding parking, there is also storage for over 280 bikes. These are monitored by CCTV and stored behind fob operated doors. Other facilities include a gym, roof terrace and residents’ lounge.

Read reviews and details of Vox, M15

2: Altrincham Grammar School for Boys

Ranked 28th nationally

Fortunately, both boys and girls have access to outstanding education options in Altringham! Altrincham Grammar School for Boys (AGSB) is also a wholly selective academy grammar school, admitting boys aged between 11 and 18. With its rich, broad-ranging academic curriculum, AGSB says it aims to instil a lifelong love of learning in its students. It also wants to provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge base to succeed in any area they pursue.

Where to live nearby:

The Trilogy, M15

Allsop Letting and Management
4.77 (147 reviews) 4.77 (147 reviews)
Area guide to Manchester
Image of The Trilogy, M15

The Trilogy is a HomeViews award-winning development located in the heart of Castlefield in Manchester. Commuting to school is easy thanks to the great bus links and easy access to the A56. In addition, MediaCityUK is only 12 minutes away. The development comprises 232 pet-friendly one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Residents have access to a wide range of facilities, including a fully equipped gym as well as a landscaped communal garden. Likewise, the building provides a 24-hour on-property concierge service.

Read reviews and details of The Trilogy, M15

3: Loreto Grammar School – Altrincham

Ranked 55th nationally

Loreto is an all-girls Catholic grammar school that currently educates over 1000 students. Founded in 1909, Loreto has consistently kept with the times during its 100+ year history. Its students are challenged to reach their fullest potential in every academic, sporting and artistic sphere. There’s also a strong emphasis on moral education here, where every student is encouraged to honesty, justice and mutual respect while becoming questioning, independent learners and “seekers of truth”.

Where to live nearby:

One Regent, M3

Renaker
4.45 (39 reviews) 4.45 (39 reviews)
Area guide to Manchester

One Regent is also situated in the historic Castlefield district of Manchester. It comprises six town houses and 301 apartments rising to 26 storeys. The development is only a short walk away from the City Centre, Deansgate transport hub as well as only a 10-minute walk away from the Central business district in Spinningfields. BBC Media City is also only 5-minute drive away.

Read reviews and details of One Regent, M3

4: Sale Grammar School – Sale

Ranked 92nd nationally

The first of our list not in Altrincham, Sale Grammar School is located in the small town of Sale, just 5 miles southwest of Manchester. It’s also the first co-educational school on the list, catering to students aged 11-18. Its current headteacher describes it as a “happy and vibrant school offering an enriching education that encourages and challenges our students.”

Sale Grammar School performs exceptionally well across the board. It also has specialist status in the Visual Arts and in Science with Maths.

Where to live nearby:

Potato Wharf, M3

Lendlease
4.22 (46 reviews) 4.22 (46 reviews)
Area guide to Manchester

Potato Wharf is a Lendlease development located in Spinningfields. The development is made up of 191 apartments, with either one or two-bedrooms. Every apartment benefits from a private balcony and views of the surrounding rivers. Local amenities are also just less than a five-minute walk away.

Read reviews and details of Potato Wharf, M3

5: St Ambrose College – Altrincham

Ranked 100th nationally

And we’re back to Altrincham for the fourth time! St Ambrose College is a selective, Catholic State-Funded grammar school for boys. It’s one of eleven schools in the Edmund Rice Schools Network. The movement fosters compassion and care for others in youths UK-wide. Nurturing spiritual faith is a fundamental part of the school’s ethos and mission statement, while providing a fully rounded education for its students.

Where to live nearby:

Hulme Living, M15

One Manchester
3.83 (8 reviews) 3.83 (8 reviews)
Area guide to Manchester

Hulme Living, developed by One Manchester, comprises 172 homes for rent across two sites. These two-bedroom apartments and 3-bedroom townhouses sit in Hulme and was designed by OMI architects and Mecanoo.

Read reviews and details of Hulme Living, M15

6: The King David High School – Manchester

Ranked 107th nationally

King David High School is located in the Manchester suburb of Crumpsall, and is the top-performing non-selective school in the North of England. It’s a Jewish faith school that prides itself on giving its students the knowledge of, and pride in, their heritage and identity.

Where to live nearby:

3Towers, M40

Urban Splash
3.48 (14 reviews) 3.48 (14 reviews)
Area guide to Manchester
3Towers from a street level view

3Towers, by Urban Splash, sits in the northern part of Manchester. The development offers 1 and 2 bed apartments, all of them benefitting from floor-to-ceiling windows for maximum natural light, and an allocated private parking space.

Read reviews and details of 3Towers, M40

7: Urmston Grammar School – Manchester

Ranked 122nd nationally

Located in Urmston, just 5 miles from Manchester’s city centre, Urmston Grammar School lives by the motto “Manners Maketh Man”. These are the words of William of Wykeham, who was born poor in 1324 but received a grammar school education and went on to become Chancellor of England. The full meaning of the quote is that it is not by birth, money, or property that an individual is defined, but by how they behave towards others.

Since 1882, Urmston has been committed to bringing out the best in all its students. In 2021, the school achieved A-level results of 75.6% A*-B, and 46.7% at A*/A. It has specialist status in both science and languages.

Where to live nearby:

Oxbow, M5

Greystar
4.41 (72 reviews) 4.41 (72 reviews)
Area guide to Salford
Image of Oxbow, M5

Oxbow offers a collection of one, two and three-bedroom rental homes. It is located close to the River Irwell and only a 12-minute walk away from Salford Central train station. Additionally, it gives residents access to an impressive range of facilities, including onsite gym and a 24-hour on-site team.

Read reviews and details of Oxbow, M5

8: Cheadle Hulme High School – Stockport

Ranked 146th nationally

Cheadle Hulme High School is located within the large town of Stockport, around 7 miles southeast of Manchester. Describing itself as “unashamedly academic”, Cheadle Hulme focuses on developing the ‘KASH’ – Knowledge, Attitudes, Skills and Habits that pupils need to succeed in their studies and in later life.

It’s the current top comprehensive non-denominational non-selective state secondary in the North West. It consistently receives outstanding Ofsted reports and of its class of 2021 Sixth Form leavers, 72% went to Russell Group universities.

Where to live nearby:

New Brunswick, M13

Linden Homes
4.15 (6 reviews) 4.15 (6 reviews)
Area guide to Manchester
New Brunswick by Linden Homes

New Brunswick is a development of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses by Linden Homes, which lies less than 2 miles from the city centre in Manchester and very close access to major transport links. It’s an easy drive down to Stockport from here, due to the immediate access to the A34 and A6.

Read reviews and details of New Brunswick, M13

9: The Blue Coat School – Oldham

Ranked 247th nationally

The Blue Coat School is a coeducation Church of England academy found in the town of Oldham, Greater Manchester. First opened in 1834 by founder Thomas Henshaw, it has grown to become a leading Anglican faith school, one that consistently delivers outstanding Ofsted reports and exam results. Visitors and students alike love the school grounds, which are a visual treat. The old and new buildings blend into a welcoming and exciting campus where students are galvanised to learn.

Where to live nearby:

Simple Life at Durban Mill, OL8

Simple Life Homes
4.06 (25 reviews) 4.06 (25 reviews)
Area guide to Greater Manchester
Image of Simple Life at Durban Mill, OL8

Durban Mill is a development of rental-only homes by Simple Life, located less than a mile away from the centre of Oldham. Also, Manchester and the M60 are within easy reach, with a choice of railway stations nearby. Residents love the welcoming community feel here, and have plenty of compliments for the on-site facilities.

Read reviews and details of Simple Life at Durban Mill, OL8

10: William Hulme’s Grammar School – Manchester

Ranked 382nd nationally

Located on Spring Bridge Road, in the southern end of Manchester itself, William Hulme’s Grammar School is one of the most popular and high performing secondary schools in the UK. The school offers a complete 3-18 education experience in a multicultural learning environment. Students gain a deeper learning of the wider world through enterprise activities and international school links.

Where to live nearby:

Burlington Square, M15

LOCAL Manchester
4.35 (11 reviews) 4.35 (11 reviews)
Area guide to Manchester
Image of Burlington Square, M15

Situated in the ‘Corridor Manchester’, Burlington Square is a Build to Rent development benefitting from a central location. Likewise, the development is a 2-min walk away from the University of Manchester. Burlington Square comprises a choice of furnished or unfurnished one and two bedroom apartments. Furthermore, residents have access to a range of amenities, including onsite parking, secure bike storage and rooftop gardens.

Read reviews and details of Burlington Square, M15

Manchester’s outstanding schools

As our list shows, Manchester is extremely well off for excellent secondary schools. This is particularly the case if you’re willing to live a few miles outside of the city proper. Hopefully, this will provide some food for thought if you’re looking to make a move to Manchester or the Greater Manchester area.

Remember that while these are the 10 best schools in Manchester, there are dozens more high-quality educational institutions to choose from. Look out for further lists in the near future, as we explore the best private schools in Manchester.

Read more


If you want to find out more about living in Manchester, click our dedicated area guide below. Here you’ll find all our listed property developments as well as extra detail on the different parts of the city.

Manchester

Manchester
Manchester is the second largest urban area in England, and is often thought of as the UK’s second city. Located in the north west of England nestled between Liverpool and Leeds, Manchester is also reportedly the UK’s fastest growing city economically. The area’s 2.8 Read more about Manchester

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written by

Jan Moys

A residential property expert with over 15 years’ experience creating content... Read all

A residential property expert with ov... Read all