Cheltenham Ladies' College
Cheltenham Ladies’ College has been at the forefront of girls’ education for nearly 170 years. Our heritage and global reputation were founded on our pioneering approach to girls’ education and our future aims are no less ambitious.
College is passionate about the futures of our pupils. While their academic achievements are important, these must go hand-in-hand with co-curricular activities that interest and challenge them, a community that supports them, and the opportunities to pursue their passions and learn from their failures.
By nurturing well-rounded and self-confident girls, we help them to develop the skills they need to manage the choices and opportunities ahead of them, leaving College as inspirational and empowered young women.
Our GCSE, A Level and International Baccalaureate (IB) results are consistently excellent, leading to College being named Top Independent School in the South West by ‘Parent Power’, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2022. This followed the accolade of CLC being named South West Independent Secondary School of the Decade 2021 in the same guide.
College has topped the tables for its IB provision and following our best ever IB Diploma results; the Class of 2021 achieved an average of 42.7 points, a UCAS tariff equivalent to 4 A*s at A Level. We were delighted to be named Top Boarding School in the UK for the International Baccalaureate (IB) for 2021 by the Best UK Schools Table, and the Top Girls’ Boarding School in the World for the IB in the Global Top 50 IB Schools Table.
The College campus is located in the heart of Cheltenham, one of England’s most beautiful Regency towns which is situated in the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are easy road and rail links, with Bristol, Birmingham and Oxford all accessible within an hour’s travel. Regular trains and buses also run to London, which is approximately 100 miles away. Cheltenham Spa Station is located approximately 20 minutes’ walk from College.
CLC offers an exciting and enriching Scholarship Programme with a wealth of opportunities aimed at stretching and developing individual talent for the benefit of the whole community. Being a Scholar is a position of honour at College and those who earn the title will play a key role in the life of the school and enjoy the chance to lead and inspire others whilst fulfilling their own potential. Scholarship Awards do not carry fee remission or other financial benefits, but families can apply for assistance with fees through our Beale Award scheme (see below).
Scholarships are awarded at the following points of entry:
11+: Academic, Music
13+: Academic, Music, Art, Sport
Sixth Form: Academic, Music, Art, Sport, Organ Scholarship
Our means-tested bursaries are known as Beale Awards, named after our second and longest-serving Principal, Dorothea Beale, who was a pioneer in the education of young women. These awards offer fully or partially funded places to talented pupils seeking either boarding or day places. We are committed to educating those whom we believe are likely to flourish here, regardless of their means and these awards take into account both the financial circumstances of an applicant’s family and her performance in written entrance tests and interviews.
It is essential that families who wish to explore financial support options contact the Admissions Department (email@example.com) well in advance of the proposed date of admission.
College is set in a 36-acre dispersed estate in the centre of Cheltenham. The single teaching site is built in a Gothic revival style. It is complemented by the more recent Art and Technology block, housing College’s Engineering, Enterprise and Technology Department; the Parabola Arts Centre, with a 325-seat theatre; and College’s Health and Fitness Centre, which opened in 2018. The Health and Fitness Centre incorporates two large six-court sports halls, a dance studio, an expansive health and conditioning gym, studio space, 25m pool, climbing wall and squash courts. Outside, there are numerous grass lacrosse pitches, two floodlit AstroTurf pitches and a separate multi-court tennis and netball facility. This sports complex and the Day and Boarding Houses are located in nearby residential areas within a short walking distance of the main site.
2022/23. Boarding: £13,950 per term. Day: £9,340 per term. *The following fees apply to new Sixth Form entrants only – Boarding: £15,650 per term, Day: £10,650 per term.
Entry is via College’s own entrance examinations. For Year 7 entry, these are taken in the October of Year 6; for Year 9 entry, these are taken in the November of Year 7; for Sixth Form entry, these are taken in the November of Year 11.
Open Days take place throughout the year. Please visit https://www.cheltladiescollege.org/admissions/visit/ for the most up-to-date information.
College is committed to developing generations of competent and confident pupils who value physical activity and sport throughout their lives and achieve their personal best. We do this by taking a three-pronged approach – delivering a programme of activities where curricular, co-curricular and competitive opportunities work in partnership: The curriculum enables students to feel confident undertaking physical activity and establish a lifelong engagement with sport. Our co-curricular offering gives students access to over 80 different sports and activities – our vision is for every girl to be active for at least an hour a day. There is a broad competitive programme at College, especially on Saturday afternoons and we are fortunate to have teams and individuals performing at regional, national and international level in a wide range of sports.
Drama: The Drama Department stages five main productions each year, and pupils from every year group have the opportunity to audition for at least one. They assist in the directing of productions, and our technical crew consists of students from all year groups, supervised by the Arts Centre technical manager and technician.
Music: Music has formed a constant in the day-to-day lives of many College pupils over the decades, and today it continues to lie close to the heart of our community. Around 45 specialist and highly qualified staff teach over 1,000 individual lessons and groups each week. 55% of students are currently learning to play at least one instrument.
College supports each girl in striking a successful balance between academic and co-curricular activity. Our provision in this area is exciting and well-resourced, with over 160 co-curricular activities available, presenting each girl with an opportunity to find her niche. The vast majority of these are provided as part of the curriculum at no extra cost. From acapella to robotics, and marine biology to street dance, we believe that education is broader than the confines of a classroom.
Wellbeing and pastoral care
We actively seek to embed wellbeing in the day-to-day rhythms of life at College. College’s Wellbeing and Personal Development Programme was set up to help students cultivate the skills and resilience needed to cope and thrive in the wider world. Our aim is to equip pupils with a sound understanding of risk, along with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions.
The age-specific programme is tailored to the needs of the students and is delivered through protected time each week. In addition, aspects of wellbeing are covered in other curriculum lessons, the co-curricular programme, and various community and enrichment opportunities during the academic year.
Dame Mary Archer (scientist and Chair of the Science Museum); Baroness Rosie Boycott (journalist and former editor of The Independent); Katherine Hamnett CBE (fashion designer); Cherry Healey (broadcaster and presenter); Tamara Hill-Norton (founder of Sweaty Betty); Caroline Kirby OBE (first female President of the Law Society); Rachel Lomax (first female Deputy Governor, Bank of England); Fiona MacTaggart (Labour politician); Dame Clare Marx (first female Chair of the General Medical Council and first female Chair of the Royal College of Surgeons); Gareth Peirce (defence lawyer and human rights activist); Bridget Riley CBE (artist); Amber Rudd (former Home Secretary); Dame Kristin Scott Thomas (actress); Robin Stevens (children’s author); Sophie Soloman (violinist and composer); Amanda Wakeley OBE (fashion designer).
From my first class of term, I knew I was in a school environment unlike any I had ever known. Each of my lessons produced new, unexpected, and thought-provoking insights from my peers. I was surrounded by girls who constantly challenged themselves and others and, above all, loved learning. I found myself in perpetual awe of the talent, intellect, and open-mindedness of other CLC students. This was why I had come to CLC: to surround myself with people who would inspire me. I feel lucky and proud to call myself a CLC girl, and I look forward to many exciting days to come.
Yuka, new Sixth Form pupil reflecting on her first term
To me, living and learning at CLC has meant the freedom to try anything and everything. To be both a classicist and a scientist, a musician and a historian, a thespian and a mathematician – all within the short space of seven years… Whatever I end up gravitating towards, I know that my time at Cheltenham Ladies’ College will have prepared me to make up my mind, or to confidently change it time and time again, for any and all eventualities.
Zara, Senior Prefect
The world I’d entered can only be described as the most empowering environment I may ever come to live in. Full of girls and women all so smart, creative, confident and most importantly, fearless.
Erica, former pupil, class of 2012