Bedales has a wide range of partnerships in the following categories:

  • Educational
  • Charity
  • Bursary
  • Local community
  • International
  • Affiliations

The purpose for our partnerships are various:

  • Widen the opportunities for Bedales students and staff to meet, work alongside and learn from a broad and diverse group of people, both within the UK and overseas.
  • Demonstrate and enhance the School’s responsibilities to deliver public benefit as a charity whose purpose is the advancement of education.
  • Provide volunteering opportunities and encourage a sense of philanthropy within our community.
  • Provide access to a pool of potential bursary beneficiaries and additional funding from educational trusts.
  • Contribute to our brand reputation as a moral and ethical institution.
  • Make our expertise and facilities available for the wider community.

Recent highlights have been the national recognition for our partnership work through the award of the Independent-State school partnership award in the 2021 Tes Independent School Awards and the Admissions, Marketing & Communications in Independent Schools (AMCIS) 2020 Outreach/Partnership Award for our work with The Key, Pupil Referral Unit.

Current partnerships are detailed below, which we seek to evolve, bringing in new relationships where relevant, and moving on from existing relationships when we feel the need to refresh. Experience has shown that each partnership will be different and non-formulaic, with significant emphasis on relationship-building. These partnerships could not have happened without the commitment and inspiration of the many staff across Bedales School who have shown willing to participate and make them a success. Many have commented on how rewarding they have found this work.

Much of our partnership activity is reported on the Schools Together website, which is run by the Independent Schools Council with support from the DfE to showcase the many examples of good practice across the sector.

Bedales School partnerships are overseen by Rob Reynolds, Director of External Relations. He can be contacted via

Educational partnerships

Bohunt Education Trust - includes Bohunt, The Petersfield School and Priory, Southsea. There have been excellent joint initiatives hosted at both Bohunt and Bedales which have included: membership from representatives from both schools in the Rethinking Assessment Group; Question Time with student and teacher panel, former Education Secretary and MP for East Hants Damian Hinds, and 140 pupils; game-changer workshops for 50 x disadvantaged pupils; Oxbridge coaching; joint INSET staff training (wellbeing and exam support); student council discussions (on mental health); new teacher training; music collaborations. Joint lockdown activities include participation of Bohunt and TPS students in an online poetry workshop and reading (part of Bedales Events). More information.

Head of BET’s Virtual School said: BET’s vision for education is about empowering our students to become ‘game-changers’.  It is also about giving every single child the same chances in life, no matter where they start from.  This is what today is all about – working in partnership with Bedales, friends with a similar vision for education, bringing students together from across our schools, taking them out of their comfort zones, creating new opportunities and building confidence and resilience to help them become the best versions of themselves.

The Key, Pupil Referral Unit, Gosport - Bedales Outdoor Work has been the site of weekly visits from groups of Key students (removed from mainstream schools), who have engaged in a suite of traditional rural and craft activities, blacksmithing, animal husbandry, pizza baking, and woodwork. Involvement with Bedales has increased the motivation and attendance by Key pupils. More information.

The teacher responsible for outreach at The Key explains: Pupils involved have exhibited improvement in confidence in social situations, built closer relationships with staff, and developed not only their skills but also their world view. We have also seen improvements beyond the visit days such as improved attendance, and some parents have said that has been brilliant in terms of getting them out of the house and doing something practical.

Steep School - Being on our doorstep, we have a close relationship. Students volunteer at Steep, helping with reading; we have also sent working parties for outdoor work projects; during lockdown we provided additional classroom space.

Steep Head said: For those who were desperately missing their friends and teachers, those who could not be effectively supported at home, those whose mental health was suffering and those who had simply lost their momentum, Bedales offer of two roomy classrooms, and cleaned and COVID secure was an absolute lifeline for those children and for their families. A total of 25 more children (25% of our school population), were able to come back to school, to see their friends, to be supported with their work and to feel well again and to get their enthusiasm for learning back on track. We are so incredibly grateful for the positive impact we were able to have on these children thanks to the support of Bedales and the efficiency with which they were able to provide space at such short notice. We are eternally grateful again for the continued support from our neighbouring school.

Trosnant School, Leigh Park, Havant - support in lockdown with Christmas present hampers for distribution to local children; prior to that, pupils attended the Rock Show; other planned activities (eg. gifted and talented art day; student classroom assistants) have been curtailed due to COVID.

Small Schools Group – Head of Bedales Prep Colin Baty is a member of a group of local primary schools who do joint initiatives/training, some of which are hosted at Bedales.

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Charity partnerships

There are an impressive number of ad hoc links with charities that often involve pupil-initiated fundraising across Bedales School, such as the Bedales Prep HOPiT fair (Helping Other People in Trouble), and Bedales Pre-prep Children in Need fundraiser.

The HOPIT annual Christmas fair raises approximately £4000 annually, supporting 12-15 charities. These charities are chosen by the students, and often involve a close link or interest. Bedales Prep's Community Service programme involves (pre-COVID) students volunteering in the local hospital, local primary schools (Steep, Froxfield), Steep Rest Home and Hollywater Special Needs School.

We have developed two key charity partnerships at Bedales School:

FitzRoy – National charity based in Petersfield supporting people with autism and learning disabilities. Lockdown support has included: participating in their ‘Around the World in 80 days’ fundraiser with parent/staff team; providing video recordings of music for their virtual Carol Concert. Prior to lockdown we have had student volunteers helping at their ‘On Track’ day centre in Petersfield and Rural Skills Unit at the Sustainability Centre, East Meon. 65 student, parent and staff runners also competed in the Great South Run as a fundraiser. More information on Fitzroy.

FitzRoy rep said: Thank you Bedales all for your continued support. Your pedalling motivation helped us take our 'Around the World' challenge to another level and the amazing videos from the students added a professional touch to our carol concert. We received such lovely feedback. Thank you for sticking with us in a difficult year. You have in no small way helped us to continue our important work.

Rural Refugee Network (RRN) - Having worked with this local charity to facilitate two Syrian refugees coming to the school as part of the John Badley Foundation, our relationship has grown into student volunteering and fundraising. Students have helped with organisation of their Art Sale, served at the ‘Serve food for Syria’ event, and acted as marshals at the ‘Syria Walk for Hope’ in the South Downs. During lockdown, we created the ‘Syria to Steep’ fundraiser which saw 72 pupils plus parents, staff and Old Bedalians clock up over 7,000 kms in a week. 2020/21 has also seen the introduction of a Block 3 cross-curricular project-based course on refugees which lead to film screening fundraiser. More information on RRN.

RRN rep said: Lockdown has given us a new appreciation for our homes, families, friends, healthcare, schools and food. In contrast, Syria has been ravaged by war for a decade and displaced over 11 million people, leaving families with very little. Thank you Bedales community for initiating this fundraiser that will contribute to housing, education and job training for Syrian refugees settled in Hampshire. What a fantastic way to raise important funds and to give students and families an opportunity to exercise with a purpose!

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Bursary partnerships

Royal SpringBoard - provides disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people with the life-transforming opportunity of a fully funded boarding school education.

Buttle - Maintenance, education and advancement in life of children and young people who through poverty and family circumstances are in need of, and will benefit significantly from support.

For more information on bursary partnerships, click here.

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Community partnerships

Bedales offers a number of clubs and groups heavily subsidised rates for use of our facilities. Organisations include: the Petersfield Youth Theatre who hold performances and workshops in the school holidays; Petersfield Hockey Club, and other local primary schools and charity events.

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International partnerships

Putney, Vermont, US – Our annual exchange involves small groups of students going to Putney and Putney students coming to Bedales. Putney School was founded in 1935 on the principles of the education reformer John Dewey. It shares a lot of the same values and ideas as Bedales, but they go even further – being based on a 500-acre dairy farm. Students milk the cows, organise recycling, work in the vegetable gardens and sit on the board of trustees.

Eswatini - From 2006-2019, Bedales Sixth Form students worked with nine primary schools in rural areas of Eswatini. Projects involved visiting for 10 days on outdoor projects such as installing fresh water supplies, landscaping and building renovations. Students raised funds in advance of each trip. We are looking to the future and hope to return in some form however this might well follow a different model than that of previous years, with the aim of broadening the benefit and widening the impact through aligning with the Global Awareness programme. More information.

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We currently have affiliations/membership with the following:

Research Schools International: An initiative of the Harvard Graduate School of Education that partners with schools around the world to inspire research-based innovation that supports students' learning and flourishing.

Digital Schoolhouse: Tied in with the launch of the new Bedales Assessed Course in Digital Game Design, Bedales partners with Digital Schoolhouse, a not-for-profit programme sponsored by the UK game industry that supports computer science and coding through play-based activities in primary schools.

ISC: Independent Schools Council - brings together seven associations of independent schools, their heads, bursars and governors.

HMC (The Heads' Conference): HMC is a professional association of heads of the world's leading independent schools. It has 298 member schools in the UK, 50 international members and 13 associates. 

BSA: Boarding Schools’ Association - represents member boarding schools, provides staff training and promotes boarding education in both independent and state boarding schools in 35 countries across the world.

IAPS: Independent Association of Prep Schools - 670 prep school membership, offering professional support and development, information, resources, networking etc. 

SACPA: Safeguarding and Child Protection Association - represents a broad range of individuals, agencies, organisations and charities concerned with improving safeguarding and child protection. Share knowledge, best practice and champions excellence in safeguarding and child protection.

We also have affiliations with other independent schools bodies including: AGBIS (Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools); ISBA (Independent Schools’ Bursars Association); IDPE (Institute of Development Professionals in Education); and AMCIS (Association of Marketing and Communications in Independent Schools).

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