Cheltenham Ladies College was founded in 1841. Dorothea Beale became Head Teacher at Cheltenham in 1858. At the time the school had only a moderate reputation but under Beale's leadership it became one of the most highly regarded schools in the country. The education of girls at Cheltenham had emphasized the development of accomplishments such as music and drawing. Beale, however, provided a much more academic education.
The school intends to provide an education based upon religious principles which, preserving the modesty and gentleness of the female character, should so far cultivate a girl's intellectual powers as to fit her for the discharge of those responsible duties which devolve upon her as a wife, mother and friend, the natural companion and helpmate for man.
The few months during which I was under your tuition more than fifty years ago were an epoch to me. Young as I was, I ever afterwards judged teaching by the standard set by yours, and very seldom indeed, I may truly say, has it been subsequently reached. The fifty years that have since passed, full as they have been, have never effaced the impression they received, both of your teaching and of something more comprehensive than your teaching, which contact with you engendered, and which impels me to take this opportunity - late in the day as it is - to express and to thank you for.