About Bedales Schools

Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, Hampshire (UK): Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Bedales Schools Headmaster is Keith Budge (the author of this blog).

The vision of Bedales’ founder, John Badley, was to create a school which would be profoundly different from the public schools of his day. From 1893, when Bedales began, there was a determination to shape the school around what was considered best for the individual child’s educational welfare and happiness. Two strands predominated: breadth (“Head, Hand and Heart”) and the cultivation of the individual’s intellectual and personal qualities (“Intelligence, Initiative and Individuality”).

Many of Badley’s early innovations are now mainstream: co-educational boarding (at Bedales since 1898); the emphasis put on the Arts, Sciences and voluntary service; the importance of pastoral care; and listening to students’ views (the Bedales School Council was established in 1916).

Even so, the contrast between Bedales and other schools remains strong. We believe that our informality engenders a genuine sense of partnership between teacher and student – a shared excitement about ideas and educational discovery. Educational innovation continues today with our Bedales Assessed courses.

Bedales Schools’ five aims:

  1. To develop inquisitive thinkers with a love of learning who cherish independent thought.
  2. To enable students’ talents to develop through doing and making.
  3. To foster individuality and encourage initiative, creativity and the appreciation of the beautiful.
  4. To enable students, former students, parents and staff to take pride in the community’s distinctiveness and to feel valued and nourished by the community.
  5. To foster interest beyond the school: engaging with the local community and developing a national and international awareness.