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History Staff

Mark Rathbone

Head of History
MA (Oxon)
PGCE
FHA

An Old Canfordian, Mark has taught at Canford since 1988 and was Head of the History Department from January 1995 to December 2011, returning to this post in September 2018. He was Head of Academic Administration from January 2012 to August 2016, and was also Tutor and Assistant Housemaster of Salisbury House for 25 years. He also teaches Politics A-level and runs the John O’Gaunt debating society and Model United Nations. Mark is a prolific writer of articles on History and Politics, more than 175 of which have been published since 1998. In March 2008, he was awarded a Fellowship by the Historical Association “in recognition of a significant contribution to the promotion and knowledge of History”.

Mark Burley

Director of Sport
BSocSci (University of Birmingham)
MA (University of Wales Institute)

Mark teaches History at Shell and GCSE levels. He has been Director of Sport at Canford since 2007. After starting his career as a lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Mark arrived at Canford and successfully established and managed the Sports Centre. From the outset he coached rugby, leading the school to success in the Rosslyn Park 7s tournament and then becoming Master in charge of Rugby for ten years. Mark played first class rugby for Moseley and Pontypool and is one of only a handful of teachers to achieve the RFU Level IV coaching award. Within the A Level PE curriculum Mark teaches the Historical & Contemporary syllabus and also teaches in the History department.

Lenka Collison

BSc (University of Bath)
PGCE

After graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in Politics with Economics as well as a PGCE in History, both from the University of Bath, Lenka began her career teaching History at Prior Park College in 2004. Here, she was Head of Department from 2007 to 2016, having previously been Deputy Day Housemistress and Assistant Exams Officer. She also co-ordinated Model United Nations and led Senior Girls Cross Country. At A Level, her specialism is American History and thus, she has been an examiner for AQA. Lenka moved to Canford in 2016 when her husband, Matt, was appointed Director of Hockey and she is currently a tutor in Franklin House.

Andrew Fearnley

Head of Politics
BA (Manchester Polytechnic)
MLitt (Oxon)

Andrew teaches GCSE and A-level History throughout the school, with a particular passion for the WWl battlefields. He has also been Head of the Politics Department since May 1998, is a former EdExcel senior examiner for AS and A2 Politics and runs the departmental society 'Politicos'. Outside the classroom he coaches sculling and rowing, runs a drone photography and film club, and assists with Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. Cycling is a keen interest, with regular trips to Scotland and France. Andrew has worked at Canford since 1993, after teaching for several years at Tabor Academy in the United States. His experience in the US is invaluable in his role as coordinator and support for pupils wishing to apply to North American universities.

Clare Ives

MA
PhD (St Andrew's)

An Old Canfordian, Clare achieved a First Class Honours Degree and a Doctorate in History at the University of St Andrews. She researched her Ph.D in America and, on returning to St Andrews to complete her dissertation, also taught Undergraduates. She contributed to Student Protest: The Sixties and After, published in 1998. After working in the Civil Service for some years, she decided to return to teaching and took up a post at Canford in 2008. She was Head of History from January 2012 to August 2014. Clare retains a special interest in American History. She is also Housemistress of Beaufort House, and coaches hockey, netball and tennis.

Tom Marriott

Head of Academic Enrichment
MA (Cantab)

Tom joined Canford as Head of History in September 2014. After graduating from St John's College, Cambridge in 2007 Tom taught at St Peter’s School in York and Cranleigh School in Surrey, where he was Head of Curriculum Extension. His degree specialism centred on Revolutionary Russia and Twentieth Century Superpower Relations, but he has a passion and a curiosity for all areas of History. At A-level, Tom teaches the Stuarts, Russia and the Cold War papers. He is in charge of the preparation of History Oxbridge candidates. After four years as Head of History, Tom became Head of Academic Enrichment in 2018. Outside of the classroom, Tom coaches both Rugby and Rowing and is also a Tutor in Court House.

Richard Salmon

BA (Southampton)
PGCE

Richard has taught at Canford since 2002. He is currently Assistant Head (Pupils) and Head of Sixth Form General Studies. He was Housemaster of Court House from 2005 to 2016. Richard also coaches Hockey and Tennis, is a section leader in the CCF, and among other things, enjoys kite-surfing and outdoor pursuits in his spare time.

Laura Standley

BA Hons (Oxford Brookes)

Laura joined Canford School fresh from completing her PGCE at the University of Oxford in 2017. She studied for her undergraduate degree in History at Oxford Brookes where she specialised in studying the history of ideas with particular interest in the history of the occult alongside a wide range of other topics. At Canford, she teaches both the Russian and the British sides of the A Level course as well as GCSE and Shell Classes. Laura is a Shell tutor in Wimborne House and coaches rowing.

Ben Vessey

Headmaster
BA (Soton)
MA (Bristol UWE)

Before joining Canford as Headmaster in September 2013, Ben was Head of History at Dauntsey's and later Head of the History, Politics and Law Faculty at Millfield. After becoming Deputy Head at Christ's Hospital he continued to teach History and has taught KS3, GCSE and both Early and Late Modern A-level. His degree specialism was Twentieth Century International Relations, but he has a boundless curiosity and enthusiasm for all areas of the subject. Having first been drawn into education by his great love of teaching, Ben is keen to retain some time in the classroom and teaches Shell History.