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Application Process

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 usually to visit the school. Please contact our Admissions team to let us know you are interested in coming to see us and they will be in touch with lots of helpful information, as well as ensuring we welcome you on site in due course. In the meantime, you are welcome to gain a sense of school life through the recording of our recent Virtual Open Day. Please email to request the link.  Please visit to access this and other online resources.

Terms and Conditions

Please read Canford's Terms and Conditions carefully.

Terms and Conditions

Entry Outline




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'.  It is advisable to register for Canford as early as possible.


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 mid-October for entry the following September. 


We will be in touch ahead of time to ask parents of registered children to confirm that they wish to sit the ISEB test. This is sat at prep schools (or at Canford for those not at a prep school)  Those that meet the required standard are invited to Canford for a pre-assessment day in Year 6 or Year 7.  This consists of a mixture of activities, tests and informal interviews (please see graphic below for possible pre-assessment entry options).


Applicants are invited to the school early in November for tests, interviews 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 about 65% of those who attended Headmaster's List assessments were later offered conditional places.


Places are offered subject to candidates' achieving a minimum of 42 grade points on the best seven GCSEs including English and Maths.  

Normally we would expect at least a grade 7 (or an A grade) in each subject to be studied in the Lower Sixth and at least a 6 (or a B grade) in English and Maths.


The door is seldom 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.


13+ Pre-Assessment Options

Please contact the Admissions office for updated dates and timings - or 01202 847207.

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 10.5% of pupils are resident abroad, which includes 6.5% who are non-native English speakers.

Chinese Student Applications and Enquiries

All enquiries from students or agents relating to Chinese students in mainland China should be directed through the school's representative for China, BE education at the email address 

EAL policy in Traditional Chinese

EAL policy in Simplified Chinese


We offer scholarships for outstanding talent at both 13+ and Sixth Form entry.   Please visit our Scholarships page for further information.


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.

House Preference Form