Headmaster’s Welcome

Dover College is a family. It’s our size, warmth of welcome and level of pastoral care, which makes us unique. This warm environment encourages high academic achievement, builds confidence and prepares pupils well for adult life.

We like to think differently. With a maximum of 15 pupils per class, teachers think differently, delivering creative teaching, which encourages independent and critical thinking, achieving exceptional results. In an environment of under 400 pupils, everyone at the College is well known and nobody is left out. We support each other in an environment that feels more like a family than a school.

We eat together, pray together and stay together. We enjoy debate, discussion and laughter while eating delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Great Hall as well as meeting four times a week in Chapel.

We are international and local. We welcome pupils from across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, which encourages everyone to be inclusive, unprejudiced, cosmopolitan and outward looking.

We proudly invest in sport, music and drama, which promotes leadership, teamwork and self-belief. We use our proximity to the sea for sailing and arrange international sports tours.

We offer firm support for life after Dover College. Our University and careers advice is second to none, and we have close links with higher education establishments around the world.

Our location helps. We are two minutes by road from Dover port, an hour by train from London, and just over an hour and a half by road from Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow airports.

Isn’t it time to think differently?

Mr G E Doodes MA FRSA



About our Headmaster

Gareth was educated at St. Andrew’s Prep School and Eastbourne College before reading Modern History at St. Andrews University prior to taking his first teaching post at Taunton School in Somerset. His teaching qualification is from Cambridge.

In 2002 he moved to Oakham School where for five years he was a Housemaster. In 2009 he was appointed to Milton Abbey in Dorset where as Headmaster Gareth introduced co-education, renovated three boarding houses and oversaw the building of two more. After briefly leading George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh he returned to English boarding in January 2015 as Headmaster of Dover College where he has overseen an increase in day and boarding pupil numbers and the launch of Project 150, the College’s development plan to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the College’s founding in 1871. This has resulted in the introduction a new creative curriculum across the Prep and Senior schools, a reinvigorated sport provision and an innovative performing arts programme, the renovation of all classrooms across the school, and the building of a new IT and Learning Support Department and theatre.

Dover College was shortlisted for the TES Independent School Awards in 2019 as a finalist for Boarding School of the Year, Strategic Initiative of the Year and Senior Leadership Team of the Year, and has received the highest ISI reports possible.

Gareth is a columnist for the Dover Express, a board member of the Boarding Schools Association, a member of the Society of Heads Education Committee, a school governor, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Educators, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts as well as being a politics and current affairs junkie and a keen runner, cyclist and swimmer.

Gareth is married to Jess who is the Marketing Manager of Dover College. They have two young children who both attend Dover Prep School.