Headmaster’s Welcome

Dover College is a family and our caring environment encourages high academic achievement, builds confidence and prepares pupils for adult life. In an environment of under 400 pupils everyone is famous.

We like to think differently. In 2019, we launched our own distinctive curriculum, which not only focusses on our pupils achieving excellent results but also helps develop inquisitive minds that are ready for the challenges ahead.

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. This is cemented by our membership of the Round Square organisation, a group of 150 worldwide schools that are united by their core values of internationalism, democracy, care for the environment, adventure, leadership and service. All our pupils have the opportunity to go on an exchange with our fellow Round Square School, Marvelwood, in Connecticut, USA.

Our development plan Project 150, linked to the College’s 150th anniversary in 2021, is seeing major investment in sport, music and drama, all of which promotes leadership, teamwork and self-belief. We use our proximity to the sea for sailing and arrange international sports tours. Our Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is thriving and growing in popularity.

We offer firm support for life after Dover College, and have a strong Alumni and Old Dovorian network. Our University and careers advice is exceptional and we have close links with higher education establishments around the world.

In 2019 we were shortlisted for the TES Awards for our Senior Leadership Team, our Curriculum, our Marketing and as Boarding School of the Year. We’re also very proud of our Good Schools Guide review.

Come and visit us! 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.


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.