At Bewdley, we believe that the purpose of education is to create not just a readiness, but an eagerness to thrive in the adult world. Whilst grades are important, it is skills learnt through tireless effort, willingness to learn and serving and leading others with humility, which will carry our students into their adult life.

Head’s Welcome & Blogs


Our focus is on four key areas:

Scholarship – building curiosity, confidence and independent learning habits

Through challenging and supportive teaching, our students are stimulated and enthused to want to learn for the joy of new knowledge and skills. Though they see the utility of what they learn, they also see deeper rewards and develop a hunger for lifelong learning.

Character – developing skills and maturing personality to have a positive influence on the world

Individual growth is fundamental to education, its nature being shaped by the values of the school. Ready for life’s challenges with compassion and consideration for others, our students develop courage, resilience and humility through strong and lasting friendships.

Opportunity – ensuring a diverse range of opportunities, to speak to every child’s passions

Our well-rounded curriculum is elevated on a broad and rich platform of opportunity, through extensive partnership programmes and clubs. Overseas visits expand our students’ horizons whilst university projects and outdoor expeditions stretch and challenge their thinking.

Partnership – working as a team with our community, building social skilled young people

Community action takes our students into the heart of Bewdley, enriched and supported by local business and commerce. Our students are internationally aware and take opportunities to work with students from across the globe.

Dave Hadley-Pryce read Theoretical Physics at the University of Kent, completing a PGCE at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Worcester. He has held several leadership roles in Mid Wales and the West Midlands, becoming Head of Sixth Form in Llanidloes in 2001. In 2006 he returned to the West Midlands first as Deputy then as Head Teacher in 2008, in a series of challenging schools. He arrived as Head Teacher at Bewdley in January 2017.

He served in the Combined Cadet Force as Head Teacher of two schools, holding the rank of Squadron Leader from 2009 to 2016. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 2013. His wife, Kerry, is a writer and they have five children.


View my latest Head Teacher Blogs below:

  • July Blog 

    Another academic year has flown by, and as we ready ourselves for the long summer holidays (and hopefully some more of the sunshine we have already seen) we will be saying farewell to some much loved colleagues. Dianne James retires from teaching this summer having spent the last eleven years at this wonderful school. Bewdley was also where she spent her first year as a teacher, so her career as a teacher has come full circle in the intervening years.

    Dianne has been an inspirational Geography teacher and an incredible Head of Year. Every child in her year group knows that they will not only be held to the highest standard of behaviour and academic effort, but also that they will receive a level of personal care and support way beyond what they expect, never has ‘in loco parentis’ been taken so literaly. Dianne is a whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm for both Geography and for the learning and happiness of all of her charges. She will be greatly missed and we wish her a long and happy retirement.

    We also have 3 Teaching Assistants leaving us at the end of term.  Christine Horne is leaving us to go to Worcester University for a 3 Year course studying ‘Occupational Therapy’. Megan Ince is leaving us to take up promotion at an alternative school. The school would like to thank her for her commitment to and support of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and providing dance lessons for our students. Venessa Stephens is leaving to start up a business with a friend, teaching English. We would like to thank all of these colleagues for their work and dedication in supporting young people in the classroom.

    I would like to thank all students and parents who supported our open week from 9th to 11th July. Our Arts Showcase on Monday showed a stunning range and quality of Art and Technology coursework, our year 9 Food and Nutrition students providing a truly professional catering service of canapés and desserts. Sports Day on Tuesday saw some fantastic competition, all conducted in the best of sporting traditions. On Wednesday our Science Day, ‘DNA, What makes me, me?’ saw year 5 students extract their own DNA, with an amazing rush hour recital on Thursday, performed at All Saints Church by our incredibly talented Music students.

    A final note on our new House System. Following consultation with Bewdley Civic Society we are very pleased to announce our new House System, which was launched on Sports Day. We have 6 tutor groups in each year group in the school, so have elected to have 3 Houses:

    BALDWIN HOUSE – EQUALITY – THE WORLD’S FIRST GREAT DEMOCRACY, AND THE FOUNDER OF DEMOCRACY IN THE WEST

    Stanley Baldwin was Prime Minister three times and also championed the votes for women campaign.

    House Colours: Black and Gold (or Yellow)

    RIBBESFORD HOUSE – HERITAGE – ONLY BY UNDERSTANDING OUR PAST CAN WE SHAPE OUR FUTURE

    The estate dates from the 11th century and has an incredible history, including connections with Oliver Cromwell, Rudyard Kipling, Edward Burne-Jones and Charles de Gaulle.

    House Colours: Red and Blue

    SEVERN HOUSE – STRIVING – EFFORT RATHER THAN RECOGNITION, IS THE KEY TO GETTING WHERE YOU WANT TO GO

    The river is the longest in England. Its unstoppable force takes it from the Welsh mountains to the Atlantic Ocean at Bristol and it has historically been a route for trade and central to the growth of Bewdley as a market town over the last 500 years.

    House Colours: Green and Silver (or White)

    The honours on sports day went to:

    1. Ribbesford House with 1167 Points
    2. Baldwin House with 1097 Points
    3. Severn House with 961 Points

    So congratulations to Ribbesford House for being the first sports day winners, and to the other two Houses for the fantastic opposition they presented.

    Have a wonderful summer break.

  • September Blog 

    As September closes and the nights draw in, our new school year is well underway. We have welcomed 180 new year 7 students to the school and year 5 and 6 students have attended our Open Evening, with many visiting during the school day. We welcome all year 10 and 11 students to join us for our post-16 Open Evening on Wednesday 7th November.

    One of the most pressing issues I have communicated with you about is that of school funding. This is not a political issue, but a statement of fact, that during the last 8 years school budgets have effectively reduced by 8% (https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/13143). Whilst assurances have been given that the ‘per pupil’ amount of funding has remained the same, the reality is that inflation has caused costs to rise and whilst there has been a freeze on Public Sector Pay for many years, there have been substantial increases in employer contributions to Pensions and National Insurance which have not been centrally funded. They therefore have to come out of the money provided to educate the children, hence the effective 8% cut.

    What does an 8% cut really mean? A typical Worcestershire secondary school with around 1,000 students will receive an annual budget of around £5,000,000. Take away 8% and that’s a reduction of £400,000, which would , for example, employ 8 or 9 full-time teachers. I took part in a march on Friday with between 1,500 and 2,000 other Head Teachers, from Parliament Square to Downing Street. We presented a letter to the Chancellor highlighting our concerns and requesting an urgent review of school funding in the next budget, with a view to restoring funding levels. To offer some context, in my eleventh year of Headship I have never done this before. Given that the average secondary school has around 1,000 students, between us we represented the interests of between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 students. We do not take such action lightly.

    I have received criticism from some quarters that I was ‘on a jolly’ and should have been in school. May I give you my assurance that I was able to work from my laptop on the train in both directions, and met colleague Head Teachers who I was able to discuss a number of school to school collaboration matters with whilst on the march. Aside from the core purpose of fighting for our school budgets, it was not a wasted day. We were and are a relentlessly reasonable group of people who simply want the education of the children in our care to be properly funded. I was there with the full support of my Chair of Governors and it was most definitely a working day.

    The final point I make is about Sixth Form funding. When I started my first role as a school leader in 2001, it was to manage a Sixth Form at a time when lower school students attracted around £3,500 to £4,000 each per year and Sixth Formers around £6,000 to £6,500. Whilst lower school students now attract £4,500 to £5,000 a Sixth Former attracts a flat rate of £4,000. These same Sixth Formers then pay £9,000 per year for their tuition fees when they go to University. How can the cost of educating a Sixth Former be less than a lower school student, then suddenly more than double when they go to University? This surely cannot represent the true cost of educating our young people? The majority of Sixth Forms are heavily subsidised by their lower school, again an unfair burden.

    Onto other matters, our evolution as ‘The Bewdley School’ with our associated ‘Bewdley Sixth Form’ continues. I hope that you are as delighted with our new website as we are, which represents, along with Our Schools App, a transformation in our capacity to communicate with our community. I would also like to thank Worcestershire County Council for funding in full the new fencing and gates around the school, which make the whole site much more safe and secure for our students.

    I was honoured to be invited to the unveiling of the Statue of Stanley Baldwin on 27th September, a great event for the town of Bewdley. I was delighted to see our Young Mayor, Star Powell, and Deputy, Erin Boddice amidst the group of Mayors welcoming the Duke of Gloucester and other dignitaries to the town. I must also take this opportunity to thank the current (and fourth) Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, who has kindly consented to our newly formed Baldwin House using his family shield as its Coat of Arms.

    Thank you for your continued support of this great school, its exceptional support and pastoral care and wonderful teachers, who it is my privilege to work with.

  • November Blog 

    This month as the holidays draw closer, I would like to say a little about School Improvement. I was heartened to see this summer a change of emphasis in the school inspection framework on its way, with a greater emphasis on ‘Personal Development’. As part of our own school improvement planning process we are part of a Fellowship programme through our Schools of Tomorrow (SoTo); https://schoolsoftomorrow.org/ membership. I have mentioned the programme before with its emphasis on highest levels of achievement, well-being, family and community engagement and preparation for the future. I would like to explain a little of what this means in practice.

    We are partnered with the Wren School in Reading; http://www.wrenschool.org/ , which is a new school serving central Reading. It has a very different context to Bewdley and a key part of the programme is for schools to be partnered in a way that offers a completely different perspective. Each school has a core group consisting of the Head Teacher, a Lead Teacher, a Lead Student, a Lead Parent, a Lead Governor and a Lead Community Member. We have carried out visits to each other’s schools and started to talk about a focus project which each school will help the other to develop. Whilst Wren school have selected well-being as their focus, our project will focus on creating a whole school Family Support Strategy.

    Family support can encompass a very wide range of possibilities, so we shall be working with our community and our partners to offer as comprehensive a range of support strategies as we can. We are already working closely with the William Mills Foundation; https://thewilliammillsfoundation.org/, a local charity which I will tell you more about in future blogs. The aim here is to provide targeted support for young people who are disengaged from education, in order that they can find positive meaning in their schooling and build fulfilling and productive lives. If you have any ideas which you feel might help us to provide appropriate and meaningful support for our families please do tell us.

    Another aspect of our work with SoTo is the dimension of education beyond the school gates. It is impossible to understate the importance of this and a key part of our development work with SoTo has been our partnership with a school in China, No.4 Qingdao Middle School, which you may have read about in Mr Chauhan’s press release following his visit at half-term. The plan is for an exchange to be set up next academic year with students from each school visiting the other for a cultural and educational exchange visit, enriching deeply the lives of both groups.

    I must also congratulate Mrs Newbold who is forging ahead with our other international partnerships. Our Interact Club supported by Bewdley Rotary are doing a fantastic job in their Planting for Hope: Uganda project, with the initial fundraising target of £1,000 almost achieved already after only a few weeks. The project has inspired one of other partner schools in Palestine to fund raise for a desert school which has no building and where the children sit on tyres to learn. It is truly inspiring to see our young people spread out these positive messages of hope across the world as ripples on a pond.

    I have also been incredibly impressed by the extent and quality of our Duke of Edinburgh offer at the school, and am taking the plunge this weekend with Lowland Leader training so that I can offer more practical support. Whilst it is wonderful that we have such a calm and reflective school in which students grow, develop and learn, it is these additional dimensions that help to bring the educational experience to life, and I would like to thank all of our fantastic staff who give above and beyond to make these wider life experiences possible.

    Thank you for your continued support for the school, and please do share with us any simple, practical ideas you have relating to how we can best support you and your children.

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