The Cheltenham Ladies' College

Cheltenham Ladies' College
Motto Cœlesti Luce Crescat (May she grow in Heavenly light)
Established 1853
Type Independent school
Boarding and day school
Principal Eve Jardine-Young
Location Bayshill Road
GL50 3EP
DfE number 916/6036
Staff 215
Students 870
Gender Girls
Ages 11–18
Colours Green

Cheltenham Ladies' College is an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11 to 18 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.

In the Financial Times' secondary school ranking,[1] Cheltenham Ladies College was placed at no. 34 in 2011 and no. 14 in 2010. Having introduced the International Baccalaureate in 2010, school rankings have yet to reflect this change. The college topped the UK rankings for the International Baccalaureate Diploma in 2012.[2]

The Tatler's School Guide 2012 noted that the school is "a rigorous academic place".[3] The Good Schools Guide described the school as a "famous and strong traditional girls' boarding school".


The school was founded in 1853 after six individuals, including the Principal and Vice-Principal of Cheltenham College for Boys and four other men, decided to create a girls' school that would be similar to Cheltenham College for Boys. On February 13, 1854, the first 82 students began attending the school, with Annie Procter serving as the school's Principal.[4] In 1858, upon Procter resigning from her position, the Principal's post was taken by Dorothea Beale, a prominent Suffragette educator who founded St Hilda's College, Oxford.

The school crest depicts two doves, taken from the Cheltenham town shield, above three stars, which are in turn above a daisy, a school symbol.


Girls in the Lower and Upper College wear a specially designed kilt, with light blue shirt and dark blue blazer. Sixth formers wear a green tweed jacket, choice of dark blue skirt or trousers, with a light blue shirt. There are occasional days when girls are allowed to wear their own choice of clothes in return for a donation to charity. Girls use their own bag or carry their school equipment in their arms. Until recently girls had to use a college rucksack, but this rule has now been changed.


The school gives pupils a choice in what they study. A range of subject combinations is available to girls at GCSE, A Level. The school offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma at Sixth Form. Tutors are full-time academic members of staff and advise girls on matters relating to their academic work and progress, including university advice and applications. Most students go on to continue higher education. An alumnae association of over 9,000 former pupils keep in contact and offer work placements and careers advice.

According to Vicky Tuck, the school's Principal in 2011, the school's students succeed in "chemistry, physics, economics and maths."[5]


Cheltenham Ladies' College

Students are supervised by a Housemistress, the House Staff and a Tutor, and are part of a House.

Girls who board live in one of ten boarding houses. There are six junior houses for 11- to 16-year-olds, and four senior houses for sixth form girls. The junior houses are Farnley Lodge, Glenlee, Sidney Lodge, St. Austin's, St. Helen's, and St. Margaret's. At Sixth Form, all girls move to a senior house. The senior houses are Beale, Cambray, Elizabeth, Roderic and St. Hilda's. Each house is run by a housemistress and several resident staff (matrons). The housemistresses have a lighter teaching load with a full-time commitment supervising their boarders.

Junior day girls have their own base in Eversleigh, where the three junior houses, Bellairs, Glengar and St. Clare, are located. The senior day girl house, Bayshill, is situated in the main college site.


Over 30 sports are offered, and students are encouraged to maintain physical fitness with physical exercise. The main sports are Netball, Rowing, Lacrosse and Hockey in the winter, and Tennis, Rowing, Swimming and Athletics in the Summer.

The main Sports Centre is located on Malvern Road. The Tennis Courts at Well Place, just off Christ Church Road. Facilities at the Sports Centre include a well equipped gym, a 25-metre six lane swimming pool, changing rooms, snack area, weights gym, large sports hall which can be used for Football, Netball, Lacrosse, Hockey, Basketball, Badminton, Trampolining, Gymnastics, Indoor Tennis. A membership is available to any member of the public at a monthly cost.


Cheltenham Ladies' Rowing Club has around 60 members. The girls row on Gloucester Canal and the River Severn at Tewkesbury. Some main calendar events are the Schools' Head of the River Race, National Schools Regatta, and Henley Women's Regatta.


Over 100 co-curricular activities are available.

The Music and Drama departments offer productions each year involving all age groups. Over 900 individual instrumental lessons take place each week.

There is a yearly inter-house competition for sports, music and drama.

The school has a sports centre with an ozone swimming-pool with no chlorine, 25 netball courts, 24 tennis courts, four squash courts, two AstroTurf fields and four lacrosse pitches.

On October 2009, Sir Richard Eyre opened the school's new drama building, The Parabola Arts Centre. The building was built by Foster Wilson Architects and cost over £12.5 million, funded by donations. Events from the Cheltenham Music, Literature, Jazz and Science Festivals are hosted annually.[6] It was recently awarded the RIBA award. In 2010, Sharman Macdonald (Keira Knightley's mother) was commissioned to write the college's play.[3]


Entrance to Cheltenham Ladies’ College is by examination for girls aged 11+, 12+, 13+ and at Sixth Form, where only a few students will be admitted. A number of academic, art, music and sports scholarships are awarded each year and financial assistance with fees is available. Girls applying to the Sixth Form are required to achieve A*s at GCSE or IGCSE in the subject they intend to study for A-levels.


The school was last inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in October 2014.[7] It achieved the grade 'Excellent' in all areas.

Notable staff

Notable pupils

Guild is the association of College's former pupils.

The arts


Politics and Civil Service

The sciences

Journalism and authors



  1. "Financial Times Secondary School Ranking".
  2. "College tops IB Diploma league table".
  3. 1 2 "The Cheltenham Ladies' College". Tatler School's Guide.
  4. "BBC - Legacies - Work - England - Gloucestershire - Those who can't, teach: Dorothea Beale & Cheltenham Ladies' College - Article Page 2". Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  5. Wilby, Peter (2011-08-01). "Cheltenham Ladies' College: 'This isn't a pink, frilly school'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  6. "The History of the PAC".
  7. Inspection Report on The Cheltenham Ladies' College Independent Schools Inspectorate, 2014
  8. Mary R. S. Creese, ‘Reid , Eleanor Mary (1860–1953)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2011 accessed 6 Oct 2015
  9. ‘GASS, Elizabeth Periam Acland Hood, (Lady Gass)’, in Who's Who 2012 (London: A. & C. Black, 2012)
  10. "Lady Mayhew | Register | The Times & The Sunday Times". Retrieved 1 Aug 2016.
  11. Buxton, M (2010). "The High Flying Duchess", Woodperry Books. Retrieved 2010-06-14.

External links

Coordinates: 51°53′52″N 2°4′53″W / 51.89778°N 2.08139°W / 51.89778; -2.08139

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