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Canford School

Canford Magna, Wimborne, BH21 3AD

Canford is a top co-educational UK full boarding school with a vision for every pupil to ‘explore, express and excel’ and ‘make a difference to both their own lives, and to the lives of others’
Canford School

Phone: 01202841254


Head: Mr Ben Vessey MA MBA

Registrar Details:

Mrs Susan Hogan

Term DatesOpen DaysAdmissions

Canford is a top co-educational UK full boarding school with a vision for every pupil to ‘explore, express and excel’ and ‘make a difference to both their own lives, and to the lives of others’

Notable Academic Facilities

Modern, spacious classroom facilities, Design Technology hub, Art gallery space. A new library with mezzanine workspaces, online resources and state of the art technology opened in 2021.

Wellbeing & Pastoral Care

Developing the individual within a warm, supportive school community is central to our core values. Fostering the capacity to cope with the demands of 21st century living, while encouraging pupils to understand themselves and develop emotional resilience is what we aim for through our extensive pastoral programme. Our pastoral programme is a dynamic one. We are continually developing it, working with external experts and monitoring recommendations and guidance in pastoral care to ensure that Canford is a safe, secure and caring school environment for all who live and work here.

Advice For Parents

Ideally please register by the end of Year 5 in order to sit our entrance tests in Year 6 and be invited to our Explore Days in the Autumn of Year 6.

Typical Child

Children who thrive on a busy, challenging, dynamic school environment.

Highly Regarded For

Canford has a fine reputation for excellence in every aspect of the education it offers. A supportive, caring environment where pupils are encouraged to follow their passions and develop skills for life both inside and beyond the classroom.

Notable Points

Canford supports learning through a whole-school approach, achieving excellent outcomes for all pupils. Our SENCo provides whole-school training on a range of learning differences, helping teachers to identify and respond to the learning challenges that all pupils can encounter, including those with SEND. Support for learning (SFL) is embedded across Canford’s curriculum. Teachers meet regularly to share good practice across departments and develop awareness of differing needs; all departments offer drop-in ’clinics’ and ad hoc 1:1 support. Targeted shells (Year 9) participate in specialised reading groups in addition to the Accelerated Reader Programme which is open to all year 9 pupils.

The SFL department also provides specialist programmes for those pupils with identified learning differences who may require additional support. Our aim is for pupils to develop the skills they need to think and learn independently. We enable our pupils to develop strategies, gain confidence in their own learning and acquire the study skills that will help them to succeed at Canford and beyond.

Leavers' Attainment

A Level 2022: 40.4% of all grades awarded A*, 73.7% A*/A and 92.4% A*/B. Our results lead the way in the South West region, and the school was ranked top in Dorset in the annual Times Parent Power 2022 table.

Leavers' Destinations

Canford has a fine reputation for excellence in academic outcomes leading to pupils gaining places at top universities of their first choice at home and abroad. Over 500 offers each year including 30 Oxbridge places in past 3 years and 23 to Medical Schools. 4 scholarships to US universities in 2022.

Sector: Independent

Type: Senior School, Sixth Form

Day/Boarding: Day & Boarding

Setting: Countryside

Total Pupils: 650

Ages Covered: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Gender: Co-ed

Gender (sixth form): Co-ed

Religious Ethos: Church of England

Opening Date: Apr-1923

SEN: Limited range of SEN support

Sibling Policy: No

Financial Assistance: Academic scholarship, Music scholarship, Design scholarship, Drama scholarship, Sports scholarship, Armed forces discount, Bursary

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Entry Routes: 13+, 16+

Selection: Academically Selective

Languages: French, German, Spanish, Latin


  • GCSE
  • A Level
  • Cambridge Pre U

Recreational Space:
Extensive sports facilities on campus