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Who We Are

Canford Rugby

Our vision is for a school community where all are 'inspired to explore, empowered to express and challenged to excel.' We are committed to educating pupils to make a real and positive difference in a challenging, diverse and often inequitable world. 


From the Headmaster

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.

These are sage words from American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, but can be hard to live up to. It is all too easy to play safe and go with the flow. We have to reflect carefully, and often, on whether we are using our intellectual, physical and creative powers to the full to make a real difference to our lives as individuals, and to the communities in which we live.

We want our pupils to encounter formative experiences through their education in the academic, co-curricular and pastoral aspects of their time here.  These in turn will lead them to question, to make decisions and to act vigorously, both as individuals and through their engagement with others. Such characteristics are crucial if our pupils are going to make the most of their own future, and contribute all they can to the world in which they live.  If they don’t aim high, they will fall short.  Life is full of challenges, and we want to equip Canfordians with the confidence and resilience to embrace and overcome them.

We seek to instill a deep understanding of the wider moral and social responsibilities that arise from living and working with others. This is embodied in the vision, aims and ethos of the school where we want all our pupils to have the opportunity to explore, to express and to excel in all aspects of school life as part of our Canford community.  Our values of courageous attitude, purposeful engagement, humble ambition and gracious leadership underpin everything we do and help to forge the strong bonds between staff, pupils and parents which are a fundamental feature of Canford life.  Education is and has to be a partnership driven by mutual respect, trust and a willingness to work together for a better future.

Life here is multi-dimensional and no website or prospectus can fully capture the spirit of Canford. The only way to get a genuine feel for what we believe in and what we do is to visit, and meet the people who are the beating heart of the school. I look forward to meeting you.

Ben Vessey - Headmaster

Read Headmaster's profile

Our School at a Glance

Key facts and information about the education we offer.

“To build a community of open-minded people who are motivated to embrace learning in all its forms, and committed to making a difference to their own lives, and to the lives of others.  Our exceptional education grants freedom to grow and creates opportunities for all to explore, to express and to excel.”

Our Mission

Our Core Values

When the Reverend Percy Warrington founded Canford in 1923, his aim was to prepare pupils ‘to take their place in the battle of life and develop their character in every way.’  The Foundation was based on Christian values focused on building a tolerant, caring and compassionate society for all. A century later, those values endure. At Canford we are acutely aware of the need to ensure that, whatever pressures may exist or emerge, our educational offering is dynamic and relevant so Canfordians can survive and thrive in the 21st century.  

Canfordians are often commented on as being rounded, grounded individuals, confident without being arrogant, with a real sense of purpose and holding true to the values below when they leave us ready to make their mark on the world.