Canford to launch sleep programme in September

The Dorset independent school says its pioneering new sleep programme will leave students more productive and energised in all aspects of life

A Dorset independent school is set to help pupils sleep more easily when they return in September.

Canford School’s sleep programme has been developed in the wake of research demonstrating how a good night’s rest can improve productivity, concentration, and emotional control.

“We want to ensure we enrich our pupils’ wellbeing with the knowledge and understanding on the science and importance of sleep, so that they will feel empowered to make better choices around sleep health and hygiene,” said Melissa Clinton, joint head of wellbeing at the boarding and day school.

“This in turn will support their mental, physical and emotional health, whilst helping them feel more productive and energised in all aspects of life. These are vital life skills that they can carry with them in future years.”

Pupils new to the school will be asked to complete a questionnaire and base line testing, while families will be given suggestions to help prepare their child’s move to a new environment.

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Once in situ, they will find that each house has a member of teaching staff dedicated to the programme, plus a matron trained as a ‘sleep champion’ taking the lead role in the in-house education programme.

All year groups will take part in the new initiative, developed with help from The Sleep Charity, with termly sleep index forms affording pupils the opportunity to check and receive advice on any changes.

The programme will cover core sleep areas, including:

  • Why sleep matters
  • The science of sleep
  • Why sleep issues occur
  • Practical strategies to improve sleep


The initiative so impressed Teen Tips founder Alicia Drummond that Clinton was invited last month to address the group’s pastoral leaders’ conference.

“Canford are the only school known to us who are providing such valuable education on sleep, and we are so grateful for their generosity in sharing the resources to benefit the wider Wellbeing Hub community of schools,” said Drummond.

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