Canford vs Marlborough

(17 Posts)
Buzi Mon 10-Mar-14 22:06:25

DS after long struggle with immaturity now taking off and getting in to schools. He refuses to go to Wellington or Radley . He has offers at all four. We live all around the world and have bases in London and Dorset. Canford came up as it is near our Dorset place. He has been at swanky London schools but the combo of his immaturity and their being the Emperors new clothes moved us to a little Dorset prep with no airs or graces but it has a work ethic and revolutionised our boy ! Both have new heads,socially different,sports similar,Canford possibly they can come home more. Do we do down to earth -safe pair of hands but possibly a bit provincial( does that matter?) Canford or do we do socially flasher ,little less time with DS academically similarish at this point ? DH and I from backgrounds where snobbishness reigns but tis those of us that didn't do Eton and St Mary's that are now running the family and making the good life ! Should we put DS with the locals or risk the London set again ?.
Simply Canford vs Marlborough from current experience please ?!

Buzi Mon 10-Mar-14 22:17:21

By the way I am fully aware that this is a nice problem to have. I have had MUCh much worse and more of my fair share in advance of the ribbing I can see coming.

Swifey Mon 10-Mar-14 22:17:21

Marlborough College because I went there and Canford was for weirdos!!! �� No, seriously I am biased towards Marlborough, but I left 17 years ago now and I don't think is the school it was. I still live in the area, and have to say that whereas there was a very strong work ethic, and that everyone was treated equally strictly, from Princes to the scholarship children, I feel that nowadays it is a bit bling! It seems to be much more about what things you have, and whose father has the most chromed up Ramge Rover Sport than the actual business of turning out well rounded, well educated, kind and considerate people. Have you thought of Dauntseys? I also went there!!! That is a much more down to earth, hard grafting school with a very good reputation, and its Wiltshire too, so not too fat from your house in Dorset.

happygardening Mon 10-Mar-14 22:33:44

Marlborough as you say is uber smart and full boarding, lots of London parents, European Royalty and the children of wealthy aristocracy. Canford as you say is less smart and can be weekly boarding. Does it really matter either way? Points worth thinking about; Marlborough offers the IB does Canford? Marlborough is not liberal in fact I would describe it as petty, I personally don't like that but maybe you don't mind, on the other hand it's facilities are excellent and sport is taken seriously. Marlborough it's self is a nice town there is enough to do to amuse you if you come down to watch a match but the school is big nearly 1000 children.
Frankly if you're ambivalent as someone who drove 150 mile round trip to attend a patent teacher meeting I'd go with the closest to home.

Buzi Mon 10-Mar-14 22:40:58

Bit confused..what is petty at Marlborough ? I wonder how much info you get on your children's progress at these schools?

grovel Mon 10-Mar-14 22:46:12

I'm a Canford supporter. My DS went to Eton but we were really torn between Eton and Canford. Yes, they are very different but so are children as they develop. DS "passed" Eton pre-test at 11 which inclined him to prefer Eton simply because they "seemed to want him". His friend who went to Canford ended up at the same university. I reckon both Eton and Canford are less flashy than Marlborough nowadays.

happygardening Mon 10-Mar-14 22:50:56

Petty=-lots of rules people mistakenly think it's liberal it's very far from this.
Don't all these schools provide progress reports at similar intervals? I'm happy with once a term myself (I think we get a report every half term) how much more do you need to know?

Incapinka Tue 11-Mar-14 06:52:47

Another vote for Canford. More local and friendly...

celestialsquirrelnuts Tue 11-Mar-14 06:58:13

I would go so far to say that canford is the better school on value-add.

Given your sons history, namely that he has done much better at a solid,non- flashy, smaller school than the blingy London schools, surely the obvious choice is to send him to canford not marlborough?

BethGoLightly Tue 11-Mar-14 07:13:20

I would go for Canford too as your son did well at his non flashy Dorset prep. My experience of Marlborough are friends' DCs who ended up with quite poor As, not getting into decent unis, and one who told his parents to hide their battered car away from the new shiny Range Rovers. I think Canford is very sporty and one child I knew who went there was worn out every day, it is quite full on but in a good way, they don't get bored.

Buzi Tue 11-Mar-14 21:53:39

Thank you all for advice !

sailorsgal Thu 13-Mar-14 20:05:31

could you pm the name of the prep school in Dorset. smile

UNDERTHEACERTREE Sun 16-Mar-14 22:47:20

I'd say that Canford has the following advantages over Marlborough:
* an incredibly beautiful and calm environment in which to live and learn (with no busy road running through it);
* modern fit-for-purpose buildings for academic, boarding, co-curricular and sporting purposes which have been thoughtfully set out;
* it costs less (see bullet point above: fees - and resources - don't have to be diverted to refurbishment programmes or to overseas ventures);
* more consistent year-on-year academic record in the league tables;
* more flexibility around Saturday nights for when you need that. It doesn't offer weekly boarding (there are all-in weekends and then a certain % of Sat nights have to be spent in on top). There are many children there for breakfast on Sunday.

cjsevern Wed 26-Mar-14 17:35:42

My vote would be for Canford too. Much more down-to-earth. I haven't heard much good about Marlborough in the last few years. Can be extremely cliquey and London crammers full of ex-students re-taking A levels. It possibly became a victim of its own success when it became the popular choice for London families.

grovel Wed 26-Mar-14 18:21:25

We had lunch at Canford recently. Very good choice and delicious.

A small point but hungry teenagers should look forward to their re-fuelling.

galbers Mon 23-Jun-14 16:32:11

Our older son just leaving upper sixth at Canford younger joining Canford in September. Canford has been wonderful for older son.

Clearly, as a parent, one only has personal experience to comment on. Son was at Cheam for prep school and most went to Marlborough. I hated it on visits and so did he.

The impression I gleaned from several visits was a palpable sense of ostentatious moneyed arrogance at Marlborough(the prospective parents and pupils not staff). (Emphasise my impression before anyone feels inclined to make a personal attack!)

A very good friend of my son from prep school reports in his house at Marlborough he is in the minority who don't smoke. Also Son has done much better to date (GCSE) than children who went to Marlborough (children who got similar or better CE results at prep school). If strong on sciences no brainer Canford is superb.

Son has also rowed in the first eight it has been the making of him, really is his sport (second year rowing at Henley next week). Not available at Marlborough.

However, remember you are lucky to be able to consider any of these schools. Don't agonise too long, gut feeling is important.

barbarnarna Wed 25-Jun-14 11:24:07

Canford's reputation has changed and it is now much less provincial that it once was.

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