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Entry to Canford

The main points for entry to Canford are at 13+ and 16+.  There is also the possibility of 14+ entry if space is available and if test results and the school report indicate that a pupil is able to embark successfully on a two-year GCSE/IGCSE programme.  The first step is to visit the school.   

You are welcome to contact the Admissions Office to arrange an appointment to meet the Headmaster and tour the school with a pupil on a visit which lasts approximately two hours. Alternatively you can visit us on an Open Day.  Our Open Days are held twice a year, in Spring and Autumn, and offer the chance to visit all the houses, meet pupils and staff and have lunch at the school.

Entry Outline

13+ Entry

16+ Entry


After visiting the school, the submission of a completed registration form and fee secures a place on our Admissions List, known as the 'Headmaster's List'.  Registrations are requested by the end of Year 6.   


Around 30 pupils each year join Canford in the Sixth Form from a wide range of backgrounds, both educationally and geographically.  After visiting the school, the submission of a completed registration form is required by October for the following academic year. 


Children are invited to Canford for a day in Year 7 which involves assessments in literacy, numeracy and reasoning as well as interviews and group activities. 


Applicants are invited to the school early in November for tests, interview and a tour of the school. Applicants from overseas may take these tests at their school. 


The number of places available by this route will vary from year to year but over recent years around 65% of those who attended Headmaster's List assessments were later offered conditional places.


Places are offered 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.


The door is never closed, so if you are not offered a place immediately, it does not mean that one won't become available later on.  The Registrar is happy to advise you on the current position at any stage.


Late places sometimes become available.

Overseas Entry

Canford welcomes applications from overseas families.  As a 7 day a week boarding school, we are well equipped to cater for the needs of pupils whose parents live abroad, with a full programme of evening and weekend activities offered.    Currently around 5% of pupils are British ex-patriots, and a similar number are foreign nationals.

Chinese Student Applications and Enquiries

All enquiries from students or agents relating to Chinese students should be addressed to the school's representative for China or telephone 86 -10-52033401.

EAL policy in Traditional Chinese

EAL policy in Simplified Chinese

House Preference

While it is not essential to choose a House, parents are welcome to express one or two preference(s) at any stage, and we will follow these where space allows.  All the Houses are run along very similar lines, however.

Parents are invited to meet Housemasters and Housemistresses during the year prior to entry and there are various social events organised to ensure that you and your child feel completely happy with their House before they start at Canford.

House Preference Form

Life as a Boarder

Life as a Day Pupil