The Bourne Academy

Partner: The Bourne Academy, Bournemouth (1)
Partner type: Maintained School
Project category: Sponsorship

In 2008 Canford was approached to sponsor a local 'failing school' which it agreed to do as long as the school was nearby, so that there could be regular contact between the two schools. A new principal was appointed; a Vision written; a House system was introduced; and the Specialisms became engineering and English. Since opening as an academy numbers and results have improved significantly.

Canford continues to remain the only sponsor, providing the majority of the governors; but a separate, mutually beneficial relationship between the two schools has continued to grow.

That relationship includes:

A year 10 exchange where 24 pupils from each school, split into four groups, spend the morning at each others' schools shadowing their partner.

Science tutoring - The aim is to help Yr 10 students who are struggling to achieve a C-grade by providing one-to-one tuition from a Canford Pupil.

A Year 9 Book Club which meets regularly at each school

12 Canford 6th form pupils spend every Monday afternoon throughout the year as classroom assistants or offering 1-1 help in science.

Since the opening of a Sixth Form at TBA in September 2013, science and maths teachers at Canford offer practical help, both at Canford and TBA, to teachers at TBA who have not taught 6th form pupils before.

Canford teachers undertaking a PGCE while teaching at Canford are offered second placements at TBA without cost, with a flexible approach tailored to the needs of the teacher involved.

Staff cricket and golf matches between the two schools.

A joint Inset day for all teachers at both schools.

A joint F24 project where (mainly Year 10) pupils from both school build F24 cars and then race them, under the guidance of Canford staff.


Aims of the project

To encourage students in East Howe to ASPIRE (the acronym written across the wall of the principal's study), both socially and academically. Initially the DfE identified the need for a new academy, but the key factor has ben the quality of the staff at TBA. The beneficiaries will always be the local people in East Howe as TBA will always be an academy for the local area, not one that cherry picks students from other areas.

Background and goals

The DfE (DCSF as was) approached Canford in 2008 as part of the original academies scheme to help failing schools. The academy opened in September 2010.


Canford does not provide any financial help, but offers staff time and, to a lesser extent, use of its facilities. Mostly teaching staff are involved, but others involved include the technical head of IT, the development department, CCF staff and other sports staff.


The effect of the sponsorship can be easily seen in terms of the improvement to the exam results, the behaviour and the numbers attending the school. Ofsted inspection grades have moved from Failing to 'Good with Outstanding features'. The younger year groups are now full (against a background of falling numbers in the borough).

Pupil involvement

All ages are involved except Year 11 (see above).

Frequency and duration

There are no plans to end the sponsorship or the relationship.