In-school mini referendum on devolution

Having been well informed of the key arguments from both sides in Wednesday’s Jaw, Bedales students and staff had the opportunity to participate in an in-school mini referendum last Thursday, voting on the same question as the Scottish electorate. Happily for the unionists, 75% of Bedalians voted ‘No’ out of a total 386 votes. In Monday’s evening assembly we compared the process of devolution in the UK with that of the management and structure of the Bedales Three Schools. Scottish independence would have been akin to Dunhurst becoming its own completely separate school. Instead, we established that the Bedales structure was more advanced than that of British governance, since each of the Three Schools has its own Managing Head, with Keith effectively operating as a Federal Leader of Westminster.  The analogy could be pushed further, if we consider the debate over devolution for English regions. This would be like Steephurst, or 6.2 Flat, being able to set their own policies; seen in this light, students seem to agree that devolution for smaller regions may not be ideal! All Bedales students and staff have since been invited to participate in a competition run by Parliament to write a 350 word preamble to a hypothetical new codified British Constitution. Parents are also welcome to enter; further details of the competition can be found here.

By Ruth Tarrant (Head of Economics and Head of Government & Politics)


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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