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Bedales School

Coordinates: 51°1′13″N 0°56′32″W / 51.02028°N 0.94222°W / 51.02028; -0.94222
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Bedales School
Church Road

, ,
GU32 2DG

TypePrivate boarding and day school
Public school
MottoWork of Each for Weal of All
FounderJohn Haden Badley
Department for Education URN116527 Tables
HeadmasterWill Goldsmith
Age13 to 18
Annual tuition£43,000

Bedales School is a public school (co-educational private school, boarding and day) in the village of Steep, near the market town of Petersfield in Hampshire, England. It was founded in 1893 by Amy Badley and John Haden Badley in reaction to the limitations of conventional Victorian schools and has been co-educational since 1898.


John Haden Badley, co-founder of the school

The school was started in 1893 by Amy Garrett Badley and John Haden Badley. John had met Oswald B Powell when they were introduced to each other by Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, whom they both knew from their Cambridge days. John said that Oswald and his wife, Winifred Powell, were as important as Amy and him.[1] A house called Bedales was rented just outside Lindfield, near Haywards Heath.[1] In 1899 Badley and Powell (the latter borrowing heavily from his father, the Vicar of Bisham) purchased a country estate near Steep and constructed a purpose-built school, including state-of-the-art electric lighting, which opened in 1900. The site has been extensively developed over the past century, including the relocation of a number of historic vernacular timber frame barns. A preparatory school, Dunhurst, was started in 1902 on Montessori principles (and was visited in 1919 by Maria Montessori herself), and a primary school, Dunannie, was added in the 1950s.

Amy Badley, co-founder of the school

The Badleys took a non-denominational approach to religion and the school has never had a chapel: its relatively secular teaching made it attractive in its early days to nonconformists, agnostics, Quakers, Unitarians and liberal Jews, who formed a significant element of its early intake. The school was also well known and popular in some Cambridge and Fabian intellectual circles, with connections to the Wedgwoods, Darwins, Huxleys, and Trevelyans. Books such as A quoi tient la supériorité des Anglo-Saxons? and L'Education nouvelle popularised the school on the Continent, leading to a cosmopolitan intake of Russian and other European children in the 1920s.

Bedales was originally a small and intimate school: the 1900 buildings were designed for 150 pupils. Under a programme of expansion and modernisation in the 1960s and 1970s under the headmastership of Tim Slack, the senior school grew from 240 pupils in 1966 to 340, thereafter increasing to some 465.


  • 1893–1935 John Haden Badley
  • 1936–1946 Frederic Alfred Meier
  • 1946–1962 Hector Beaumont Jacks
  • 1962–1974 Tim Slack
  • 1974–1981 Patrick Nobes
  • 1981–1992 Euan MacAlpine
  • 1992–1994 Ian Newton
  • 1994–2001 Alison Willcocks
  • 2001–2018 Keith Budge
  • 2018–2021 Magnus Bashaarat
  • 2021–present Will Goldsmith

The campus[edit]

Memorial Library and Lupton Hall

Since 1900 the school has been located on a 120-acre (0.49 km2) estate in the village of Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire. As well as playing fields, orchards, woodland, pasture, multiple sport pitches and a nature reserve, the campus also has two Grade I listed arts and crafts buildings designed by Ernest Gimson, the Lupton Hall (1911), which was co-designed, built and largely financed by ex-pupil Geoffrey Lupton, and the Memorial Library (1921).[2]

There are three contemporary, award-winning buildings:

Old Bedalians[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Amy Badley". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 13 July 2023.
  2. ^ "BEDALES MEMORIAL LIBRARY, LUPTON HALL AND CORRIDOR, Steep - 1278033 | Historic England". historicengland.org.uk.
  3. ^ "Bedales School Campus". Bedales.org.uk. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  4. ^ Faces of the Week, BBC, 21 July 2006.
  5. ^ a b c d e "27 famous people who went to school in Hampshire". Hampshire Life. Great British Life. Retrieved 25 April 2024.
  6. ^ "Simon Anholt, Old Bedalian & Foreign Office Public Diplomacy Board". Bedales.org.uk. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Simon Anholt". Simon Anholt. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Sebastian Bergne". Sebastian Bergne. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  9. ^ Lucinda Schmidt, Profile: Peter Hall, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 April 2010
  10. ^ "Joanna Hardy | Bedales School". www.bedales.org.uk. Retrieved 8 July 2024.
  11. ^ "Lara Johnson-Wheeler". Bedales. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  12. ^ Sale, Jonathan (19 February 2009). "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Roger Lloyd Pack, actor". The Independent. London. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Tom Lodge, Old Bedalian and Zen Master". Bedales.org.uk. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  14. ^ "BEDALES ASSOCIATION & OLD BEDALIAN NEWSLETTER" (PDF). Bedales School. 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2024. Retrieved 3 July 2024.
  15. ^ Annan, Noel; Ferguson, James (30 May 1996). "Obituary: Teresa, Lady Rothschild". The Independent. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  16. ^ Wetherell, David. "Biography – Camilla Hildegarde Wedgwood". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 15 July 2012.

Further reading[edit]

See also John Haden Badley bibliography.

  • Bedales School; A School for Boys. Outline of its aims and system. By J H Badley. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1892
  • A quoit tient la superiorité des Anglo-Saxons?. By Edmond Demolins. 1897
  • Notes and suggestions for those who join the staff at Bedales School. By J H Badley. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1922
  • Bedales: A Pioneer School. By J H Badley. London: Methuen, 1923
  • Bedales Since the War. By Geoffrey Crump. London: Chapman and Hall, 1936
  • John Haden Badley 1865–1967. By Gyles Brandreth and Sally Henry. Steep: Bedales Society, 1967
  • English Progressive Schools. By Robert Skidelsky. London: Penguin, 1969
  • The Public School Phenomenon. By Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1977
  • Irregularly Bold: A Study of Bedales School. By James Henderson. London: André Deutsch, 1978
  • Bedales 1935–1965 Memories and Reflections of Fifteen Bedalians. By H.B. Jacks. Steep: The Bedales Society, 1978
  • Bedales School – The First Hundred Years. By Roy Wake and Pennie Denton. London: Haggerston Press, 1993

External links[edit]

51°1′13″N 0°56′32″W / 51.02028°N 0.94222°W / 51.02028; -0.94222