“Great oaks from little acorns grow.”
14th century proverb

Cheltenham College

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

Cheltenham College, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England | Dickinson | British Boarding School Consulting

Cheltenham College

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England


Cheltenham College, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England | Dickinson | British Boarding School Consulting

Founded in 1841, Cheltenham College is a leading English independent co-educational boarding school with an enviable reputation for academic achievement and the breadth of its extra-curricular opportunities. Situated in a stunning 72-acre campus in the middle of a thriving town on the edge of the Cotswolds, the College aims to provide a first class all-round education, and the internationally renowned Cheltenham Literature, Science, Music and Jazz Festivals are all on the doorstep.

At a glance

Age range: 13 to 18
Total no. of pupils: 750 / Boys: 407 / Girls: 343
Percentage of boarders: 80%
Percentage of International pupils: 23%
Pupils in Sixth Form: 316
Average class size: Senior school: 18 / Sixth Form: 10
Sixth Form termly boarding fee: 22/23 £14,345
Top 6 sports:
Boys: Rugby, Hockey, Rowing, Cricket, Rackets, Squash
Girls: Hockey, Netball, Rowing, Tennis, Rackets, Cricket
Linked prep/junior school: Yes
Nearest major airports: Bristol (81km), Birmingham (95km)


Inside and outside the classroom pupils are prepared for examinations, university entrance and life, and are encouraged to develop independent and inquiring minds. Highly qualified teachers deliver stimulating lessons that find the balance between covering material required by public examinations and encouraging pupils to enjoy learning for its own sake. On average over 45% of candidates achieve A*/A at A Level and typically around 90% of leavers go on to Russell Group universities.


The houses are at the heart of life at College and, whilst they all operate in much the same way in terms of day-to-day life, each has its own individual character influenced by the housemaster/mistress and the pupils within it. There are 9 boarding houses in total: 5 for boys and 4 for girls with 2 day houses alongside, all located around the perimeter of the campus. They are a true home away from home, the hub of life at College and the basis for forming lifelong friendships.


The College’s rich sporting heritage includes being one of the original rugby playing schools, with ‘Cheltenham Rules’ being adopted by the RFU in 1887. The concept of inclusivity is cherished, and pupils of all ability levels have the chance to compete, with the most able offered sports scholarships and a talented athlete programme. Facilities include extensive playing fields, 2 Astroturf pitches, a swimming pool, 6 squash courts, a shooting range, 4 tennis courts, a boathouse and a climbing wall.

Creative arts

Pupils are encouraged to explore their creative talents, express their personalities and fire their imaginations. There are 250+ music lessons a week and a range of musical ensembles, from the Chapel choir to several jazz bands. The White Gallery hosts well-known artists whilst the Thirlestaine Long Gallery is used for all the Creative Arts. The Art, Music & Drama departments collaborate regularly on spectacular shows held in Big Classical, the College’s refurbished 300-seat performance space.

Did you know?

  • Alumni include Dr Edward Wilson, an expedition member of Captain Scott’s ill-fated 1912 attempt to reach the South Pole.
  • Cheltenham College is one of only a handful of schools in England to have its own military colours (last presented in 2000 by HRH the Princess Royal).