The abiding influence of powerful visions

Living and working in a place like Bedales which is still so powered by the vision of one man, that extraordinary Victorian visionary, John Badley, I always find it intriguing to visit other places inspired by unusual and brave visions – places which are, like this school, conviction-led – and which have thrived because of the abiding currency of the vision.  Half term took us to Cornwall and two such places – both ones that I had heard much about and was very keen to see: Minack Theatre, near Land’s End, and the Eden Project. Both happened because of the informing vision of one person – Rowena Cade (in the 1930s) and Tim Smit (in the 1990s); in both cases the Tinker Bell principle applies – as Tim Smit says about the Eden Project, if enough people close their eyes and believe it can happen, you can make it happen. In both cases, the projects have a strongly affirming, educational mission behind them. The Eden Project in particular emanates such a powerful sense of its informing vision – impossible to put into words, but a must visit for anyone who wants reminding of the abiding influence of powerful visions.

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.