The Cheltenham Ladies' College

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The Cheltenham Ladies' College
CLC logo.PNG
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

The 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] The 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. In 1858, 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.

In 2005, The Cheltenham Ladies' College was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents.[4] Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling three million pounds into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared.[5] However, Mrs Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said that independent schools had always been exempt from anti-cartel rules applied to business, were following a long-established procedure in sharing the information with each other, and that they were unaware of the change to the law (on which they had not been consulted). She wrote to John Vickers, the OFT director-general, saying, "They are not a group of businessmen meeting behind closed doors to fix the price of their products to the disadvantage of the consumer. They are schools that have quite openly continued to follow a long-established practice because they were unaware that the law had changed."[6]


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 works around the pupils, giving them free choice in what they excel in. A broad 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 at universities in the UK and in America such as the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick, Bristol and Imperial College London. An alumnae association of over 9,000 former pupils keep in contact and offer work placements and careers advice.


The 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 11-16 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, St. Margaret's. At Sixth Form all girls move to a senior house. The senior houses are Beale, Cambray, Elizabeth 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.


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, allowing you access to all of the facilities on offer. Professional personal trainers are available, and nutritionists. Colleges main sports are Netball, Rowing, Lacrosse and Hockey in the winter, and Tennis, Rowing, Swimming and Athletics in the Summer.


Cheltenham Ladies' Rowing Club has around 60 members. The girls Row on Gloucester Canal and The River Severn at Tewkesbury both approximately 30 minutes by bus from Main College Site. Some main calendar events are The Schools Head of the River, National Schools Regatta, and Henley Women's Regatta.


Music and Drama departments offer productions each year involving all age groups. Over 900 individual instrumental lessons take place each week. A new Performing Arts Centre opened in September 2009. Over 30 sports are offered, and students are encouraged to maintain physical fitness with physical exercise.

There are nine junior houses Glenlee, Sidney Lodge, Farnley Lodge, St Margaret's, St Helen's, St Austins, Bellairs, Glengar and St Clare. There is a yearly inter-house competition for sports, music and drama.

The school has a sports centre with an ozone (no chlorine) swimming-pool, 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.[7] 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 The Cheltenham Ladies’ College is by examination for girls aged 11+, 12+, 13+ and at Sixth Form, where only a select number of top 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 2008;[8] the last Office for Standards in Education inspection of boarding facilities took place in May 2008.[9]

Guild - Notable former pupils[edit]

Guild is the association of College's former pupils.

The arts[edit]



The sciences[edit]

Journalism and authors[edit]



External links[edit]

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