Schools and colleges

Cheltenham has a great educational tradition which continues today with some of the finest schools in the country, an important new university and an innovative further education college – both shared with Gloucester – and the unique National Star College for  disabled students.


A 21st century university with 200-year-old roots, the University of Gloucestershire has been consistently ranked as one of the greenest universities in the country.  The university has three fantastic campuses in Cheltenham:

  • The lovely Park campus is the heart of the university and includes the stunning new Media Centre including animation suite, radio, film and TV studios
  • Francis Close Hall in St.Paul’s dates back to the first college’s foundation in 1847 and is the centre of the university’s teacher training, environmental and humanities disciplines
  • The Centre for Fashion, Art and Photography – also in St.Paul’s –  is the hub of the university’s creative fashion, fine art and photography, building on the tradition of the famous Cheltenham School of Art founded in 1852.

Gloucestershire College is an innovative, successful further education college which offers GCSEs, A levels, professional qualifications, degree foundation courses and a wide variety of other full and part-time courses.  Its Cheltenham campus is a dramatic purpose-built building on Princess Elizabeth Way, and is also home to the College’s No1 Restaurant.

The extraordinary National Star College has a residential base in Cheltenham but its main campus is at nearby Ullenwood.  An independent specialist college, it offers life-changing education for students with complex disabilities.  National Star is also in the delicious food bsuiness with fabulous Star Bistros at Ullenwood and in the centre of Cheltenham at Royal Crescent.

Secondary schools

Cheltenham boasts an extraordinary record in secondary education with some of the very best schools in the country in the state comprehensive, selective and private sectors:

  • Balcarras School in Charlton Kings is an outstanding 11-18 comprehensive school, open to the whole community and serving the east of Cheltenham.
  • Cheltenham Bournside School and Sixth Form Centre in the south of Cheltenham is an 11-18 comprehensive open to the whole community with a sixth form centre of 450 pupils drawn from across Cheltenham.
  • All Saints Academy is a Christian academy based in a stunning new building in the west of Cheltenham. It has 900 places for 11-16 year olds and a 250 place sixth form offering academic and vocational courses for 16-19 year olds
  • Pate’s Grammar School is Cheltenham’s oldest school, dating back to its foundation by Richard Pate 1547.  It is an outstanding selective secondary school for 11-18 year olds, drawing pupils from a wide geographical area.
  • Pittville School is an 11-16 comprehensive school in the north of Cheltenham, open to the whole community, rapidly improving and focused on achieving ‘outstanding’ status.

Cheltenham pupils also attend secondary schools outside Cheltenham constituency including excellent comprehensives like Cleeve School in Bishop’s Cleeve and Chosen Hill School in Churchdown and Gloucester’s four single-sex selective schools: the High School for Girls (Denmark Road) and Ribston Hall High School for girls and the Crypt School and Sir Thomas Rich’s School for boys.  All four admit both boys and girls at sixth form.

Cheltenham Ladies CollegeCheltenham College, Dean Close School and St. Edward’s are Cheltenham’s private secondary schools.

Special schools

Cheltenham’s exceptional tradition in education now includes a number of schools providing education for children facing real learning challenges:

  • Belmont School is a state school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties and other special needs, open to all ages from 4 to 16.
  • Bettridge is a state specialist school for children with more severe learning difficulties, open to all ages from 4 to 19.
  • Cheltenham & Tewkesbury Alternative Provision School, also known as St.George’s Centre, provides inspiring support for pupils who have been permanently excluded or are at risk of permanent exclusion from mainstream schools.
  • The Ridge Academy is Gloucestershire’s school for primary-age children with particular emotional, social and behavioural challenges
  • Battledown Centre for Children & Families is a community special school and assessment centre for young children up to the age of 7.

Primary, Junior & Infant Schools

Cheltenham has 28 state primary and infants schools, enjoying excellent reputations and strong community links.  They are listed below:

Private primary and ‘preparatory’ schools include the Richard Pate School , Airthrie and Berkhampstead as well as the prep and pre-prep schools attached to Dean Close, Cheltenham College and St. Edward’s.