Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, Hampshire (UK): Bedales Pre-prep School, Dunannie (ages 3–8), Bedales Prep, Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18).

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.

The 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.

The ways in which we achieve these aims are described in The Bedales Difference.

The success of our children’s education depends on a fruitful partnership between school, children and parents - view the Bedales Schools' Partnership Principles.

Click here to read more about Bedales staff.

Bedales School is a registered charity, number 307332.