Why CLC?

Cheltenham Ladies’ College has been at the forefront of girls’ education for 170 years.

Our heritage and global reputation were founded on our pioneering approach to girls’ education and our future aims are no less ambitious.

Our GCSE, A Level and IB results are consistently excellent, leading to College frequently being named the top boarding school in the country for IB results. Over the last five years, College has consistently won awards for academic excellence, including South West Independent Secondary School of the Decade (The Sunday Times).

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 inspire and challenge them, a community that supports them, and opportunities to pursue their passions and learn from their mistakes.

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 empowered young women.

Why boarding?

"What I enjoy most is our sense of community – you can hear the raucous laughter and lively debates from the bustling dining and common rooms!" - Fatma, SFC2 (Year 13)

Surrounded by the fictional worlds of Malory Towers, Harry Potter and St Trinian’s, misconceptions about modern boarding can be far-reaching and inaccurate, based on outdated perceptions and a degree of artistic licence.

In reality, 21st century boarding offers pupils the opportunity to be immersed in a vibrant, diverse and tolerant community of their peers, where they can express themselves and debate their views openly, help each other grow and learn, and develop friendships that are often life-long.

Modern technology has ensured family and friends are only a message or video call away. The pastoral structure between the school and the boarding house is designed to nurture and encourage our new pupils to settle into life at College quickly.

From eating meals or watching a film together, to rehearsing for House Music or working on a group entry for the Upcycled Fashion Show, boarding houses quickly become a home from home. With over 160 co-curricular activities to choose from and a full and varied sporting programme, boarding life at College offers girls an unparalleled experience in these important formative years.

For more information on boarding at CLC, please visit our Boarding pages.

Why single-sex?

"Because CLC is an all-girls school, there is nothing off limits. There is nothing to be shy about, you can be in the cricket team, you can be in the football team, you can have the main role in the play, all the science opportunities - everything is for you. I think the girls embrace that and really do have a go at anything" – Mrs Victoria Davidson, Houseparent

There are many arguments surrounding the benefits and disadvantages of single-sex vs co-educational schools. Ultimately, each child’s education should provide an environment that is right for them, with teaching that inspires them, debates that challenge them and opportunities that allow them to thrive.

Our approach to education has always been to put girls first.

We believe that our pupils thrive in a single-sex environment. They develop resilience and confidence in a culture that encourages them to believe that nothing is beyond their reach. The success of this approach is demonstrated not only in their consistently outstanding exam results and extensive co-curricular achievements, but through the well-rounded and inspirational women they become.

Whether a budding scientist, inspired artist or talented sportswoman, we encourage them to develop independent thought, and to support and challenge each other.

For more guidance on girls’ single-sex education, please see information from the Girls' Schools Association (GSA) which highlights a number of benefits, such as the freedom from stereotypes, leadership opportunities and academic excellence.


For many years, we have received recognition for the outstanding teaching, opportunities and academic excellence at College. Below is a list of some of the awards we have received recently: 

  • Top Independent School in the South West for Academic Performance - Parent Power Guide 2024 (The Sunday Times)

  • Top 20 UK Independent Senior School - Spear's 2022

  • Top Independent School in the South West - Parent Power Guide 2022 & 2023 (The Sunday Times)

  • Top Boarding School in the UK for the International Baccalaureate - Best UK Schools Table 2022 (Education Advisers)

  • Top Girls Boarding School in the World for the International Baccalaureate - Global Top 50 IB Schools Table 2022 (Education Advisers)

  • South West Independent Secondary School of the Decade - Parent Power Guide 2021 (The Sunday Times)

  • Eve Jardine-Young: Best Public Head Award Runner Up - Tatler Schools Awards 2021