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Canford Recognised Nationally for Community Partnerships

Canford Recognised Nationally for Community Partnerships

We are delighted to share the news that Canford has been selected as the top school in the country for its Community Engagement work. As the 2023 Local Partnership and Community Champion chosen by leading industry publication School House magazine, Canford is, according to the editor Victoria Lambert, among ‘incredible schools which stood out as exceptional in their categories’.

The judges were particularly impressed with Canford’s partnership with The Bourne Academy, which started when the Academy was founded in 2010. Many independent schools have links with academies, but only a handful fully sponsor one and the Canford/Bourne Academy link is a true partnership, a highly effective and successful collaboration which results in positive educational development for pupils at both schools. From the outset, there has been a shared chemistry and focus on core values which has been a critical feature of this flourishing partnership.  

Among the many links are a Canford/Bourne book group praised by the ISI inspectors: “The pupils quite evidently have really enjoyed the book club and got so much out of it.” Canford pupils also work together with those from The Bourne Academy on F24 racing car ‘design and race’ projects, a twinning group every Easter Term for Year 10 pupils at both schools, joint future careers fairs and speaker events. A gifted and talented Scholar’s Programme, to develop the potential of the most able pupils at The Bourne Academy, was launched in January 2022 in conjunction with Canford and each year a number of Bourne pupils join Canford’s Sixth Form via a bursary scheme. All Bourne Teach First staff spend a week at Canford in-department, there are also joint staff Inset Days and joint annual staff sports and social events.

The partnership is just one of the many ways in which Canford supports local, regional and international communities, with pupils giving over 8,000 hours of community action service each year to over 70 different organisations, ranging from primary schools to inner city communities, charities to care settings. 

Headmaster Ben Vessey commented:

It is an honour to have been so publicly recognised for our community action partnership work, which is part of Canford’s DNA and embedded within our school mission ‘to make a difference to our own lives, and to the lives of others.’   It has been wonderful to see The Bourne Academy develop and flourish and there is a great mutual benefit to the staff and pupils at both our schools from our collaboration.  Thank you to all those involved in making our partnership work so successful.

Mark Avoth, Head of The Bourne Academy, echoed this:

Our shared aim with Canford School is for every individual student to have belief in, and a positive vision for, themselves, their future and their school.  The exciting new Scholars’ Programme offers our gifted and talented pupils the opportunity to develop not only academically, but also creatively, spiritually and morally. I am delighted that the partnership between our two schools has received this national accolade.

For more information about Canford’s Community work, please visit 

Canford Community links

For more information about The Bourne Academy, please visit:

The Bourne Academy