Bedales Pre-prep pupils meet the Mayor

Year 3 pupils from Bedales Pre-prep Dunannie visited the Mayor of Chichester, Councillor Alan Chaplin, at the end of the Summer term to discuss concerns regarding environmental issues they had identified during a recent field trip. The children sent a letter to Chichester City Council outlining their observations, including the speed of the buses, chewing gum stuck on an ancient monument and the pros and cons of fast food stalls and entertainers in the pedestrianised areas.

The class was delighted to receive a letter from Rodney Duggua, the Town Clerk, who praised the children’s clarity in identifying areas for improvement in the local environment. They were particularly pleased to learn that he had passed on their comments to relevant committees and the bus company. They were also excited to receive an invitation to visit the Council offices to meet the Mayor.

Commenting on the visit, Dunannie Year 3 Teacher, Catherine Claasen, said: “We were honoured to be invited to meet at the historic council offices, and were shown into the meeting room, assembly rooms and the Mayor’s private parlour and saw the robes and chain of office. On the walls were lists of all the mayors dating right back to the thirteenth century. We also met the Town Crier and tried to shout as loud as he did! It was a wonderful experience for the children.”

Head of Dunannie, Jo Webbern, said: “When the children passed the medieval Market Cross to check for chewing gum, they met a local neighbourhood watch representative, completely by chance, who told them that the Bus Company had been contacted about speed and several teams of cleaners had been recently deployed in the City Centre. It was very inspiring for the children to feel empowered and have their concerns taken seriously. This was a fine example of young people taking action and adults listening and responding. We would like to thank Chichester City Council for the entire experience which was extremely positive.”

Bedales Pre-prep pupils’ meet the Mayor


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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