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Governance and Policies

The Governors are legally responsible for the overall management and control of Canford and ensures the School abides by the provisions of its statutes and the constitutional arrangements as a charity.

The Governing  Body has membership of the Association of Governing Bodies in the same way as the Headmaster is a member of HMC, the Managing Director/Bursar is a member of the Independent Schools Bursars' Association, and Canford is a corporate member of the Independent Schools Council and the Boarding Schools Association.

Company Reg No: 190956

Registered Charity No: 306315

VAT No: 331 5659 06

Sir Gary Coward


Sir Gary Coward - Chair of Governors

Lieutenant General Sir Gary Coward KBE CB

Gary spent his early career in the Royal Artillery before training as a pilot and joining the Army Air Corps, serving in Germany, Northern Ireland, Brunei, USA, Hong Kong, and the Balkans. In his latter career he served in the MOD, the Permanent Joint Headquarters, and the Defence Equipment & Support organisation.  In his final tour in the Army, he was both Chief of Materiel (Land) and Quartermaster General. 

Since retiring from the Army in 2012, Gary has filled a variety of non-executive roles in industry, education, heritage, charity, and honorary appointments with the Army.  He and his wife Chrissie live in Poole and their son, Ben is the Housemaster of School House. Gary joined Canford’s Governing Body in 2019 and was appointed Chair of Governors in November 2022.   

Canford Governing Body

Dr Michael Akinfala


Nick Chetwood

BSc (Hons), MCSI

Dr Philippa Dickins


Professor Mark French

MA (Oxon), PhD

Nick Holloway

BA (Hons) PGCE

Michael Jeffries


Will McLaren-Clark

BSc (University of Exeter)

Will McSheehy


Professor Jane Portlock

PhD, FRPharmS

Annabel Thomas

BA (Oxon)

Independent Reviews and Awards

For the latest industry reviews and awards please click on the link below:

industry reviews & awards 

Staff List

For our current list of teaching and senior staff please click on the link below:

Teaching and Senior Staff