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Martin Marriott Foundation


Martin Marriott, Headmaster at Canford from 1976 to 1992 is delighted to put his name to this new foundation for Canford.

The Martin Marriott Foundation (MMF) was launched on 6th December at The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. OCs from the Martin Marriott years gathered for a reunion dinner to celebrate their time at Canford and to hear about this new foundation.

The MMF, encompasses all bursaries provided at Canford.  The Canford Charitable Annual Bursary Fund supports the work of the Foundation to provide transformational bursaries.  

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Canford pupils are fortunate to enjoy a superb educational experience where generating an aspirational culture of learning is at the heart of the school’s vision and mission.  Pupils are encouraged to strive for excellence in all that they do as individuals and in a collective sense, through honesty in personal relations, intellectual curiosity, a sense of physical and mental well-being and a desire to be part of a mutually supportive community.  A Canford education engenders lifelong personal development and provides a wealth of opportunities in preparing pupils for the demands of the 21st Century.

Canford is actively looking to widen accessibility to deserving applicants who could not otherwise attend.  Essentially we want to provide the opportunity to add structure, substance and reality to the dreams and ambitions of eligible young people whose life chances are likely to preclude this, whether that be due to general socio-economic factors or specific difficulties and hardship within the family or locality where they live.  This is very much a partnership as not only will pupils accessing a bursary benefit greatly, but their presence within the Canford Community will add breadth and richness to the educational and life experience of all within it.  The Martin Marriott Foundation, was launched in December 2016, together with the Canford Charitable Annual Bursary Fund (CCABF) in January 2017 which will provide bursaries to deserving pupils. 

‘I find the thinking behind this initiative very exciting and challenging and am honoured and delighted to have been asked to be associated with it.

It is entirely in tune with the school's policy over many decades of helping those who for whatever reason might be otherwise unable to benefit from all that Canford can offer them.  What more worthy project could any of us who have enjoyed and benefitted from our time at Canford hope to support?  I encourage you all to join me insofar as you are able to do so.  Together I am sure we can make a great success of this latest development.’

Martin Marriott, Headmaster 1976-1992


Put simply, bursaries change lives …


From the Headmaster, Ben Vessey

‘Having spent six years at Christ’s Hospital, a boarding school where many pupils are drawn from the lower end of the socio economic scale, often with challenging homes lives, I have seen first-hand the tremendous transformational impact which access to a high quality rounded independent education can have on those young people where a bursary has opened up this land of opportunity. We are working on establishing several partnerships and programmes which will open access to a Canford education for a greater pool of deserving and talented young applicants both from the UK and further afield who could otherwise not afford to come. What we need now is assistance to ensure such opportunities can become a reality for these young people with the lifetime benefits this will bring to them, their families and others whose lives they will touch in a positive way thereafter.’ 

In 2017, the CCABF achieved its target of £51,000 which enabled a Sixth Form day pupil to attend the school from September 2018, fully funded for their Sixth Form years.



We are looking for a range of bright, talented, creative and worthy pupils who will inspire and uplift their peers in such a way that the benefits will be felt far more widely than simply for the individual receiving the bursary.  

The selection process for awarding bursaries is complex. Canford is aided greatly by the specialist organisations that it works in partnership with, to ensure that there is a genuine need for a bursary to be awarded and that pupils selected, will both benefit from and contribute to the Canford environment.  The Royal National Children’s SpringBoard  Foundation, HMC and The Bourne Academy all have a rigorous process which assists them in selecting the right pupils to attend Canford.  For example, a parent or guardian cannot apply directly for a SpringBoard place, the recommendation has to be made by their partner organisation.  The average SpringBoard family to date earns less than £20,000 per annum. Children are selected with a need to access a boarding education for a number of reasons, typically because of an absence of suitable adult role models or a challenging local environment but there are many other circumstances where the criteria are met. 


The school's vision is ‘To inspire young people to embrace learning in all its forms and to use their educational experience to make a real and positive difference to their own lives, and to the lives of others.’


As part of this vision, we aim ‘To provide financial support to allow more young people from society as a whole to gain from the life changing experiences offered by a Canford education.’


Our Mission is To actively seek funding from a variety of sources to achieve our vision and to work with partners to secure the best possible opportunities and outcomes for young people’.


The Donald Dean Scholarships and Assyrian Fund are all, in their own right, wonderful success stories which will provide a transformative experience for a few talented young people. While we are able to provide some financial assistance for around 40 pupils per year, we are still only able to provide full financial assistance for a handful at any one time. We feel that many more young people should have the opportunities and experiences that a Canford education provides. This is what our drive to Increase Accessibility is all about and the launch of The Martin Marriott Foundation will provide awareness and support for bursaries at Canford.


Currently 6.5% of pupils receive bursaries of varying degrees.  Our aspiration over the next 10 years is to commit to support a total of 10% of pupils with the increased 3.5% of pupils receiving full bursaries.  


This can be broken down to an additional twelve day places and eight boarding places:


Five 13+ Day pupils

Seven 16+ Day Pupils 

Four 13+ Boarding Pupils

Four 16+ Boarding pupils


The Royal National Children’s SpringBoard  Foundation

Established in 2011, the SpringBoard Bursary Foundation recently merged with the Royal National Children’s Foundation. The newly formed charity continues to transform the lives of disadvantaged children through full bursaries at leading state and independent boarding schools. 

Canford is an accredited SpringBoard school, accepting its first SpringBoard pupil in September 2016 with a third pupil due to start in September 2018.

Why the specific focus on the boarding environment? Independent research is beginning to show the positive impact of a boarding education, particularly for disadvantaged children.  

“I am half way through second term and I am still loving every single minute which brings me to why I have constructed this email. I have a request, would it be possible to share my experiences and speak at one of springboards events as I have been captivated by what this opportunity has given me and I want to captivate others. Thank you again, for this truly life changing opportunity.”  

SpringBoard Bursary recipient


HMC Projects

In September HMC Projects scholars will come to schools in the UK from fourteen countries - Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Boys and girls are selected for scholarships through entry procedures organised in their own countries by nationally accredited agencies and interviews conducted in English in national capitals by members of the HMC Projects, most of whom are serving or former head teachers. Selection is based on results in the entry tests, a strong academic record and good references from the students' own schools, proficiency in written and spoken English and performance at interview.

Scholarship winners are then allocated to schools across the United Kingdom, all of which have high standards of academic, sporting and cultural achievement and of which Canford is one.  We commit to offer the complete costs of boarding fees and the HMC Projects group adds a modest sum to this for additional expenditure, such as travel in the UK and other activities.

The Scholarship programme is open to students who will be at least 16 years old in the September when their year begins. Selection for full scholarships is restricted to students whose parents' combined income was £30,000 or less in the year prior to the application.

HMC Scholars usually emerge as outstanding members of their schools' Sixth Forms, achieving excellent examination results, and offering a great deal besides. We are proud that former HMC Scholars are already occupying important posts in their own countries.


Canford currently offers a small number of bursaries to support day pupils.  The Donald Dean Memorial Scholarship, Assyrian Fund and the Bourne to Canford Bursary comprise our current bursary offer but we would like to increase this substantially within the next ten years to allow us to offer 12 fully supported day pupils each year. 


Donald Dean Memorial Scholarship

In 2014 Canford received a £1 million legacy from the estate of the late Dr Donald Dean. Whilst not an Old Canfordian, Dr Dean was a great believer in the value of education, and left wishes expressing that his legacy go to charities which would reflect his interests in education and medicine.  With our strong record of applications to Medical Schools, and desire to increase accessibility to a Canford education, we were deemed a natural beneficiary of his generous legacy.  We have therefore established the Dr Donald Dean Memorial Scholarship. This is funding a substantial scholarship each year to one day pupil. 


Assyrian Fund

Separately, many Canfordians will remember the story of the Assyrian Frieze, the sale of which in 1994 netted nearly £7 million for Canford. Much of this windfall went into bricks and mortar, financing the Layard Theatre, Sports Hall and parts of other buildings. A substantial amount, £2.5 million, also went into a Scholarships and Bursaries fund, and a smaller amount was given over to starting up Canford’s flourishing Partnership programmes overseas.  While this income sounds like a large sum of money, this was received 22 years ago and with the economic climate being so volatile, it doesn’t go far in this day and age.


The Bourne to Canford Bursary

The Bourne Academy is a local state school four miles down the road from Canford in Kinson, Bournemouth. Originally a failing school, it re-opened its doors in September 2010 as The Bourne Academy with Canford as its main sponsor.

The Academy brought many successful aspects of Canford into its structure, including the house system and tutoring system. The two schools share resources, INSET training, activities and people to keep the link strong. Many Canfordian staff share their expertise also, as teachers and Governors at The Bourne Academy. The results of this sponsorship is readily apparent, with The Bourne Academy achieving improving academic results year on year and a full roll. 

As well as opening up opportunity within The Bourne Academy setting, we have provided two Sixth Form places for day pupils each year for the past three years. The application process is competitive, but we accept promising Academy pupils on their academic and co-curricular potential rather than their ability to pay fees. 

We plan to continue this partnership into the future by fully funding two places per year for the Sixth Form via the Martin Marriott Foundation.



Kacper came to Canford from St Peter’s School.  He found out about Canford and made an enquiry to admissions himself.  He attended all of the tests and although he knew he was intelligent he was very unsure that he would be good enough to gain entry to Canford.  The day that the offer letter was to arrive he told his mother to wait until he got home.  He was delighted to be accepted on a 100% bursary.  “This for me was the equivalent of winning £50,000 just to spend on my education, I couldn’t believe it.!”

On arrival at Canford, Kacper was overwhelmed with all of the opportunities on offer.  He had always worked hard and been driven to succeed but he was desperate not to waste his time at Canford.  “The teaching I received at Canford was brilliant both in the classroom and beyond.  Teachers always have time to go through things with you that you don’t understand.”  Kacper had a go at virtually everything on offer at Canford!  In fact, after his first term at Canford his tutor had to ask him to withdraw from some extracurricular activities so that his academic studies didn’t suffer. 

Kacper has made great friends for life at Canford and worked on a small business called Lemon Juice with two other pupils. He gained work experience at Southampton University and took part in a partnership to Ghana.  Kacper has an offer from Imperial to study Computer Science needing A*, A, A and also an offer from Warwick. 



"At Canford I feel that I have been able to truly be myself and have been accepted for who I am.  There is no prejudice here and in my U6 year particularly, I have made friends that I know I will stay in touch with for many years.  My mother and family back in Venezuala are incredibly proud of what I have achieved.  With my interest in politics, they are very keen for me to run for President of Venezuala - in time, this is something I would very much like to consider, to make the country a better place for all.

Educationally, I have been able to study 'A' levels that were not an option at my previous school which has allowed me to apply for specific university courses.  Teaching at Canford is incredibly different and extremely effective.  The support that I have achieved outside of lessons has been excellent and has allowed me to excel in my chosen subjects.  I received a lot of help in applying to my chosen universities.  I am sure that this support would have been limited at other schools."

Javier has an offer to study Human, Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge (A*, A, A) and Exeter to study Politics and International Studies (A, A, A)



“My outlook on life has opened up tremendously since joining Canford. I have higher aspirations regarding what I can achieve.  Being surrounded by hard working, intelligent friends has allowed me to develop lifelong friends.  I doubt I would have applied to the universities I have offers for and I am confident that I have a bright future ahead of me.  I will always be keen to come back!

The support around university applications has been excellent.  I have a gap year paid internship at Accenture in London.  Alongside this, I have offers at Durham and Warwick to read English although I’m not quite sure whether to choose English or Maths!”


“I never really considered applying for a place at Canford but I had nothing to lose and everything to gain so I applied, more for the experience than anything else and was both surprised and delighted when I was awarded a place.  The first few days were a little daunting but small class sizes really helped me to make friends quickly.  I was quite used to being very quiet in a class of 30 pupils but at Canford there is nowhere to hide, you are expected to get involved and contribute.  I hope to go to university in September, something that I never thought I would be able to achieve before I came to Canford.  I will be the first person in my family to go!  I have been involved in the school musical, I’ve learned to play Lacrosse (a sport I didn’t know existed!) and I have also been involved in the City Reach project working with young people from deprived areas of Southampton.  The support from teachers at Canford is phenomenal – I still can’t believe that teachers respond to pupils’ emails with such speed.  If I could sum up what Canford has given me I would say that it has been a complete lifestyle change for me, full of opportunity, my aspirations have been raised considerably and I am more motivated than ever to succeed.”



“Academically Canford has been good for me, as it has pushed me to work hard.  At Canford, it is cool to be clever – not something, I encountered at my other school.  You can try new things and feel comfortable about having a go.  Nobody thinks you’re odd for being musical or wanting to be in the school play.  Having done a lot of dancing before coming to Canford, I thoroughly enjoyed being involved in theatre productions – some of my favourite times.  I’m not particularly sporty but you can still have a go and represent your school even if you don’t make the first or second teams.  Sport is very inclusive here.”

Georgia was given a Dr Michael Toosey Award which enabled her to join the partnership trip to Ghana.  “This was an amazing experience that I will never forget.  It opened my eyes to a very different culture that you simply cannot experience from the TV screen.  The Ghanaians are all so happy but have so little!  This trip gave me a totally different perspective on life.  I would never have had this experience if I hadn’t come to Canford and I am extremely grateful for the Award without which I wouldn’t have been able to go” 

Georgia has an offer to study English – her real passion – at Exeter (A, A, A).  She has loved her time at Canford and is very reluctant to leave!  “I will be back whenever I can!”


Elle and Hayley  (Bourne to Canford Bursary Pupils)

Elle and Hayley came to Canford in September 2012 from The Bourne Academy. Both admit to having been very nervous making the transition from the Academy to Sixth Form at Canford, and not being sure of how they would fit in but from day one, they felt accepted as part of the new Sixth Form intake.

“Canford really changed our attitude to work … we had to work very hard to keep up but we did and we enjoyed it …

I would never have achieved the GCSEs that I got let alone ‘A’ Levels without the drive to get to Canford and then the support I received once I was here.  Teachers were always available. You could always email them. We were so well prepared for Uni.  I don’t think I would have gone to Uni if I hadn’t come to Canford and certainly not the Uni that I’m at.  Canford showed me that I can achieve more and it ‘raised my game’ considerably.  I’d come back in a heartbeat..”

 So what difference did it really make?

“A lot!  It felt like a winning lottery ticket.  From the people we met, to the Community Service we were involved in, having so many opportunities to try different things, the grades we achieved and above all, a much greater confidence in myself.”

“Work experience at a London investment bank and applying to a university far from home are two things I never would have thought of before Canford, but now I have done both.” 

Elle is now studying Management and Marketing at Leeds University.  She has big ambitions and will be embarking on a work placement with Goodyear Dunlop.  Hayley is studying Sociology and Criminology at the University of Exeter. 


Nic (Scholarship & Bursary recipient)

Nic was keen to study at Canford from an early age. However changing family circumstances led to Nic studying at a local grammar school prior to Canford. Having rediscovered Canford on open days his mother encouraged Nic to take the state entrance exam, which he passed, and especially remembers an interview with John Lever.  He applied for the drama scholarship and was successful, also receiving a substantial bursary. Throughout his time at Canford, Nic was mindful of the commitment that his Mother had made to his education, making him motivated to succeed.

On starting at Canford, Nic remembers being nervous about how he would fit in as many pupils knew each other from Prep school.  Lessons were very different moving from class sizes of 30+ to 15-20.  He took every opportunity available to him at Canford and enjoyed school tremendously.  Thanks to his House Master, Dan Culley, who looked out for him, he fitted in quickly and made good friends.  “The pastoral support at Canford is superb.”

Nic wasn’t involved in Drama at his previous school but at Canford Nic took part in every school production available – “around 10 in total and I loved it.  It was a great release from the pressure of my academic work.”

In the Fifth Form Nic was told that if he wanted to study medicine, he needed to start thinking seriously about it.  At this early stage he did work experience over 3 weeks in the A&E, Geriatrics and Orthopaedic departments of Poole Hospital.  He also gained work experience at a local GP surgery. “The good thing about the Canford community, was that I could happily ask other students, and their parents, for help in securing work experience, and teachers for advice in the application process”

Nic decided to apply to Oxford.  He recalls Dr David Neill being in charge of Oxbridge applications and David encouraged Nic to apply.  He was always told to aim for the very best and so he “went for it!” Nic had numerous meetings with Mike Doherty, Head of Careers and HE, asking for countless practice interviews.  “The support was brilliant and the application process was an amazing experience in itself - just to stay overnight at such an iconic University for my interview was worth it!”

The first person in his family to apply for Oxbridge, Nic started reading Medicine at Oxford in 2013.

 “If I could sum up what Canford gave me, I would say that it gave me the confidence to aim high.  Without it, I’m not sure I would have applied for Medicine at Oxbridge, never mind succeed in my application.  I am extremely grateful for the scholarship and bursary that I received from Canford, and believe I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I am delighted that there is a continuing drive to raise funds to provide the opportunities which made such a difference to my life.”


Brianna (Scholarship & Bursary Recipient)

Brianna came to Canford on a substantial bursary for Sixth Form in 2006. As well as excelling academically, a place at Canford allowed her the freedom to pursue her other love: rowing.  “Suddenly I could do both, and I had the academic support, the coaching and the facilities to do so,” she says. She won her first Junior International vest at the age of 16.

Brianna went on to gain a place at Oxford to study medicine, stroke two winning Oxford Blue Boats, and row internationally at Under-23 and Lightweight level. She is now Lottery funded and hoping to represent Great Britain at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She is also studying for a DPhil in Biochemical Physiology at Oxford, and plans to return to her medical studies after Rio.

“A full bursary allowed me not just to go to Canford, but to take part in the full range of activities the school was able to offer. I took my sport to new levels, went on the Partnership Trip to Argentina, and was phenomenally well prepared for Oxbridge entrance.  Having people from all backgrounds at Canford makes it special, and giving young people like myself a chance to come can change their lives forever.”


Veronika (Canford’s first HMC pupil)

Veronika was always determined that at some point she would study in England for a year and the opportunity arose through the HMC bursary project which she undertook in the Czech Republic in 2013.  

“I couldn’t believe that I had been awarded a place to study at such a beautiful school.  It was hard to leave my home and friends and there is no doubt that the first few weeks weren’t easy as my English was not very good and I was really shy.  However, I soon adapted to the different teaching style, made friends and I relished having teachers that were interested and enthusiastic.  I loved reading my reports which gave me a considerable boost to my self-confidence.  As well as discovering my passion for Economics, I got involved with the Music School playing the piano, saxophone and singing.  My music lessons were paid for which helped a great deal.  Being at school all of the time meant that I was constantly occupied and engaged in useful activities.  I would never have been so involved in school at home.”

In Autumn 2016 Veronika will go to study Economics at University in Prague and she will also attend the Prague Conservatoire.  It was her time at Canford that introduced and developed Veronika’s love and talent in singing.  Before coming to Canford she had no idea what career path she would follow but her passion for Economics was discovered here and she has studied extra maths to support this.

So what difference did it really make?

“My self-confidence increased considerably.  I felt able to let other pupils know that children from different backgrounds can achieve and I was able to help them to understand that we are not inferior and we can contribute to society - just look at what I have achieved!  I cannot imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn’t attended Canford.  I would like to go on to do something useful in society and perhaps work for a not-for-profit organisation.  It is so important that other children are given the opportunity that I received at Canford.”


Iliyana Nalbantova (HMC pupil 2016)

Iliyana was one of six pupils from Bulgaria who came to study in the UK on an HMC bursary in 2014.  Iliyana was very keen to study in the UK as she was very aware that the opportunities open to her in Bulgaria were limited.  Following a three day orientation at Cambridge University, she arrived at Canford.  It was a cultural shock being the first from her family to be educated abroad but making friends was not an issue for Iliyana.  Canford lessons were vastly different with smaller class sizes and so much more detail and depth was required.  “The learning environment is incredible.”

“I enjoyed being part of the John o’Gaunt’s Debating Society, especially when we debated the EU Referendum!  I thoroughly enjoy public speaking and I have grown in confidence during my time at Canford.  I was involved in the school magazine, community service and I took part in the Vellacott History Prize and enjoyed it immensely.  My parents can see a marked difference in me – I am more confident, very adaptable and more independent,”


Letter from a parent of a bursary recipient pupil

Dear Headmaster,

It is hard to believe that our daughter’s Canford days have come to end – it seems only yesterday that, to our astonishment, she had applied to the school, and then to our even greater astonishment she had been offered a place thanks to a scholarship and an extremely generous bursary. Regardless of what her results may be, she has been privileged to enjoy the very best tutelage in all subjects, unparalleled support and truly magnificent surroundings. She has also made many friendships that will certainly endure for many years to come.

I know that she has had a wonderful time. It goes without saying that the Ghana trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity. She loved every second of it and it was an experience that she still bubbles with enthusiasm about. It is another fine example of the school’s ethos of supporting education for those less fortunate than many of its own pupils, an ethos from which she has so greatly benefited. She has hugely enjoyed the Heretic Society debates, visiting speakers, school plays and the regular trips to hear lectures at other educational establishments – and much more. I think her only regret has been that having been a great sports fan, training regularly with Wimborne Athletic club, injury prevented her taking advantage of the excellent sporting facilities to the full. But here again, Canford was able to provide the physiotherapy that helped immensely.

My wife and I would like to thank you and the school for giving our daughter the best possible means of fulfilling her potential. She is particularly indebted to her house master Mr Baugniet, Matron Mrs Wells, and tutor Miss Pick – but all the teaching and support staff have her greatest respect and gratitude.

We now have a nervous wait for the exam results but, thanks to the help and preparation Canford has provided, we can already be confident that she will have done well and is destined for a place at one of her preferred universities. 


Some pupils with bursarial support are not known to other pupils but many choose to share this information with their peers.  

‘… Staff reported primarily positive impacts brought to other pupils as a result of taking in SpringBoard pupils. Staff frequently reported that SpringBoard pupils were well liked and had significantly contributed to school life and affected others by their enthusiasm: ‘a breath of fresh air’ (reported by two consultees), ‘their presence here is a real asset’ and ‘[name of pupil] has made the most of every opportunity he has had at school and other boys cannot help but be inspired by this’. One staff consultee mentioned that their SpringBoard pupil had been ‘an excellent addition to the year group in House: as his peers have got to know him, they have really enjoyed the intellectual inquisitiveness he brings to proceedings’ and another commented: ‘She has brought a benefit to us. Hugely enriching for our pupils to have encountered such a warm and open personality’. In many cases, SpringBoard pupils were acting as positive role models, for example as prefects or members of the house council or, in one reported case, as a member of a local Cadet Corps. This was strengthening the unpretentious and tolerant ethos of member schools.


The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation Impact Assessment: Year 2 25 reported that, as a result of their involvement in SpringBoard, the pupil population had developed a greater awareness of social, socio-economic and ethnic diversity. Staff reported that pupils had ‘definitely broken down barriers, prejudice or ignorance’ and had supported the work of staff in strengthening an accepting tolerant ethos, sometimes through challenging ‘disparaging and unhealthy beliefs in a direct though tactful way through discussion’.  Some SpringBoard pupils’ peers had become more aware of their privileged situation and had a greater sensitivity towards others from less affluent backgrounds. Staff also reported pupils in their school developing a greater awareness of geography, other cities and regional accents…’


Excerpt from The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation Impact Assessment: Year 2 October 2015, National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)

Speeches from Martin Marriott and Ben Vessey can be found on the links below:

Martin Marriott Speech

Ben Vessey Speech


A full bursary allowed me not just to go to Canford, but to take part in the full range of activities the school was able to offer. I took my sport to new levels, went on the Partnership Trip to Argentina, and was phenomenally well prepared for Oxbridge entrance. Having people from all backgrounds at Canford makes it special, and giving young people like myself a chance to come can change their lives forever.”

Bursary Pupil

I find the thinking behind this initiative very exciting and challenging and am honoured and delighted to have been asked to be associated with it.  It is entirely in tune with the school’s policy over many decades of helping those who for whatever reason might be otherwise unable to benefit from all that Canford can offer them.  What more worthy project could any of us who have enjoyed and benefited from our time at Canford hope to support?  I encourage you all to join me insofar as you are able to do so.  Together I am sure we can make a great success of this latest development.

Martin Marriott - Former Headmaster, 1976-1992