Skip Navigation LinksHome » Admissions » Introduction » FAQs


Where do pupils come from?

Canford's reach is broad, with pupils joining at 13+ from around 50 different Prep and Junior schools each year and at 16+ from both single sex and co-educational senior schools.

Are places booked up years in advance?

Canford is a very popular school so it is advisable to register as early as possible, by the September of Year 7 in order to have the best chance of a place, and sooner if you have a house choice in mind. Pre-assessment takes place in Year 7, although places do become available later, and late scholarship candidates are always welcome.  The following timeline may be helpful to note:

Year 7

September: Discovery Day at Canford.  The chance for pupils to experience what life is like here.

November: Invitations to Headmaster's List pre-assessment days.

January/February: Headmaster's List pre-assessment days.

February onwards: Late applications to join the Waiting List are welcome.

Year 8

Spring: Open Scholarships in a range of disciplines - all applications are welcome.

How academically selective is Canford?

For us, attitude is the key.  We are interested in potential and people who enjoy their academic work.  Excellent exam results emerge from a broad-based, rounded education.  55% average is the minimum expected for those sitting Common Entrance.  Pupils not prepared for Common Entrance sit our own entrance papers.  Some pupils enter via scholarships.

Can I join in the Sixth Form?

Sixth Form entrants sit either our scholarships or entrance exams;  to those who are successful offers are made subject to achieving a minimum of 42 points on the best seven GCSEs  (where A* = 8, A = 7, B = 6, C = 5).  Normally we would expect at least A grades in subjects to be studied at AS level and at least B grades in English and mathematics.

Why are the fees so high?

Over 60% of the fees are spent on staff salaries.  To attract high quality teaching staff, Canford pays a little above the national rate.  The staff/pupil ratio is 1:7.5 and there are necessarily many support staff.  Facilities are modern and investment, particularly in equipment, continues rapidly.

Is there any assistance with fees?

Canford offers scholarships at 13+ and 16+ in a range of subjects and means-tested bursaries throughout the school which are worth up to 100% of fees.

Can I visit again before I join?

Once entrance examinations are completed, future Canfordians are invited to an induction day where they meet staff, their year group and the pupils in the year above them.  They also become more familiar with where they will be living and, if necessary, with the courses they will be pursuing.  In the first two weeks, each new entrant also has a pupil mentor.

Does Canford operate any bus services?

Yes.  Canford runs school bus services for both boarders and day pupils.

For boarders, school buses run to Richmond, Fleet services, Winchester, Chichester and Southampton airport at half-terms and fixed exeats. 

For day children, a school bus service operates within the Blandford, Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Ringwood and Dorchester areas daily and on other routes according to demand.

For the latest schedules and further information, please click here

My child was registered before July 2011. How do the changes to the Admissions process affect him/her?

Please click here for details