Newcastle High School for Girls

Newcastle High School for Girls is an independent day school for girls aged 3–18 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The Junior School is at Sandyford Park and the Senior School is located in the neighbouring suburb of Jesmond.

Newcastle High School for Girls
Tankerville Terrace

Newcastle upon Tyne

TypeIndependent day school
Local authorityNewcastle upon Tyne
Department for Education URN108538 Tables
HeadMichael Tippett
Age3 to 18

The school was formed in September 2014 by the merger of Central Newcastle High School, formerly Gateshead High School, and Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School.[1] It is operated by the Girls' Day School Trust, an organisation which ran one of the predecessor schools, Central Newcastle High, pre-merger.[2]


Newcastle High School for Girls was formed by the merger of the predecessor single-sex girls' schools, Church High School and Central Newcastle High School, which have had a strong reputation in the North East education sector for many years, with good reputations in terms of academic performance[3] and ethos. A previous entry to this site states that its ethos is one of providing the very best education for girls, and furthermore states that both were known equally for their academic excellence, pastoral care and support.

Central Newcastle High School GDST dates back to 1876 when the Girls' Public Day School Trust founded Gateshead High School. The School moved to Newcastle in 1895, and it became known as Central Newcastle High School. The school grew rapidly over many years due to the reputation it had gained throughout its 138-year history.

In 1884, The Church Schools' Company decided to open a private girls' school in the North East which focused on a church-based learning environment. A high school for girls in Newcastle was established in 1885 and opened with 59 pupils. A new association was formed in 1925, and the school was renamed The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School.

Rich in tradition and heritage, separately Central High and Church High were very much renowned for their academic excellence and extra-curricular success. Therefore, due to the separate heritage of both schools, many reacted to the merger as putting together two schools with very different ways of educating, and that both schools held a separate ethos (i.e. Church's previous religious focus). Others voice that the school is now able to offer more opportunities to pupils than before.[4]

In 2016, the school moved to new facilities on Tankerville Terrace which incorporated the former Church High building and a new purpose-built 3625-square-metre, three-storey block.[5]

The established Headmistress responsible for the move to the new facilities, Hilary French was dismissed from her post on the 16th of June 2018 following an investigation into her conduct where it was found that she had made dishonest expenses claims. She was arrested by Northumbria Police on the 20th of June 2018, interviewed and released pending further enquiries.[6]


Newcastle High School for Girls has a strong academic record and regularly ranks in the top 5 independent schools in North East England and top 100 nationally.[7][8][9]

The Prime Minister's Global Fellowship

Central Newcastle High School had a good record of students attaining places on the prestigious Prime Minister's Global Fellowship programme. The school achieved its first student in the inaugural year of the programme, 2008, and in 2009 had another successful applicant.[10]

Notable former pupils

  • Dame Irene Ward, (1895–1980), British politician (educated at Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School)
  • Ursula Dronke (1920–2012), Medievalist and Professor of Old Norse Studies (educated at Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School)
  • Andrea Riseborough (born 1981), actress (educated at Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School)
  • Lucy Akhurst (born 1975), actress, writer and director (educated at Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School)
  • Ruth Caleb OBE (born 1942), film and television producer (educated at Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School)
  • Dr Barbara C. Morden, author and cultural historian (educated at Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School)
  • Esther McCracken (1902–1971), playwright and actress
  • Miriam Stoppard (born 1937), doctor and author
  • Professor Ruth Plummer, Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine (educated at Newcastle upon Tyne Central High School)


Other sources

  • A.C. and F.M., The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Jubilee History 1885-1935, Andrew Reid & Company Limited, 1935.
  • Helen G. Scott & Elizabeth A. Wise, The Centenary Book of the Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School 1885-1985, 1985.
  • Carter, Oliver; Girls' Public Day School Trust (1955). History of Gateshead High School 1876–1907 and Central Newcastle High School 1895–1955. G.F. Laybourne.
  • 2007 ISI Inspection Report
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