Bedales was founded by John Haden Badley in 1893 to be a humane alternative to the authoritarian regimes typical of late-Victorian public schools. The founder believed that involving "head, hand and heart" was the key to growth and development. Badley's philosophy is still the corner stone around which our innovative education system is built.
The school became fully co-educational in 1898; students were given a formal voice by 1916, when the School Council was formed. Located in 120 acres of farmland, woods, orchards and playing fields, students still follow John Badley’s ideal of educating ‘head, hand and heart’.
The Memorial Library and adjoining Lupton Hall (the original assembly hall) are Grade-1 listed arts and crafts buildings. The Bedales Theatre (1998) and Orchard Building (2005) have both won awards for the quality and originality of their architecture.
Thw school opened a new and award-winning Art & Design building in 2016 to create an artistic heart of the school adjacent to Outdoor Work where creativity, ingenuity and intelligence can flower. A focus on the development of intelligence, initiative and individuality remains strong to this day, with students studying a broad curriculum across the schools.