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The Cheltenham Ladies' College

For the last three years the Festival has been based at The Manor by the Lake, but for 2009 we have moved further into Cheltenham town centre.  The main advantage of this change of venue is the increased capacity which allows for even larger 'public' events in our Festival programme.

The Screenwriters' Festival will continue to be associated with The Manor by the Lake - a series of summer schools and one-day events are planned for the next couple of years and these will be based at the Manor. 

History of the Cheltenahm Ladies' College

The Cheltenham Ladies' College is an independent boarding and day school for girls in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. The school is one of the most prestigious girls' schools in the United Kingdom and enjoys consistently high rankings in various league tables. It takes girls aged 11 to 18 as boarding or day pupils.

The Good Schools Guide called it a "Famous and strong traditional girls' boarding school, with large numbers of day girls", adding, "Impressive results as always".

Founded in 1853 in what was then a quiet little provincial town, The Cheltenham Ladies' College originally aspired to be nothing more than a good academic school for the daughters of the local gentry.  Even at that, it was out of the ordinary; serious education was for boys alone, while their sisters were normally offered little beyond the 'accomplishments' - music, needlework, a smattering of foreign languages - considered necessary for life in polite society.

There were many 'teething problems', but after four years the governing Council appointed a new principal whose name, together with that of the College, was to become synonymous with all that is best in girls' education.  Dorothea Beale - a prominent Suffragette educator who founded St. Hilda's College, Oxford - was only 27 when she took up her post; by the time she died 48 years later, the small struggling day school with pupils numberign 58 had grown into a world-famous institution attended by over a thousand girls and offering everything from kindergarten classes to external degree courses.  And perhapos most importantly of all: it had become socially acceptable to educate women.

New buildings in the 1890s were designed by Edward Robert Robson.


Cheltenham Ladies' College Today...

The Cheltenham Ladies' College has recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, 2003/4, and is the latest milestone in an illustrious history.  Since it first opened its doors to pupils there has been much to experience, celebrate, record and collect.

The school educates around 865 girls. The school crest depicts two doves, taken from the Cheltenham town shield, above three stars, which are turn above a daisy, one of the most important school symbols. The school motto is "Cœlesti Luce Crescat" (May she grow in Heavenly light).

GCSE and A-Levels are offered to all students. In September 2008, the International Baccalaureate was offered to sixth form pupils in conjunction with A levels. In 2006 26 pupils gained places at Oxbridge. In addition, a fair proportion of pupils get accepted by the American Ivy League universities. The school provides extracurricular academic, non-academic and sporting activities.



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Notable Alumni


Florence Farr - Actress and Mistress of George Bernard Shaw

Bridget Riley - Artist

Sophie Solomon - Violinist

Kristin Scott Thomas - Actress

Katherine Hamnett - Fashion Designer

Damaris Hayman - Actress

Charlotte Reather - Comedy Writer and Actress

Amanda Wakeley - Fashion Designer

Tamara Beckwith - Socialite

Talulah Riley - Actress