… a framework for excellence in developing heritage learning provision.

The six criteria underpinning the award assessment provide a framework for success whether a museum or heritage site is looking to gain the recognition its learning programmes deserve or seeking to develop the quality of its education provision.

Image Credit: English Heritage Education.

What is the Sandford Award?

The Sandford Awards focus on formal, curriculum-aligned learning programmes that take place in the historic setting or natural environment and use the history and collections or natural resources of the site to engage, inform and inspire visitors. Recognition is also made of informal learning such as family programmes and self-guided provision.

Over 500 heritage sites and services across the British Isles have received the Sandford Award since the first awards were made in 1978. They include museums, galleries, castles, churches, historic houses, cottages, palaces, archaeological sites – even zoos.

The Awards are made annually and are non competitive.

You can view our current Award holders here.


Amongst the many testimonies we receive from Sandford Award holders, the feedback highlights how valuable they find the process.

“It has been good to have external validation of the quality of the education programme and something we can share with groups who are thinking of visiting to show that our educational visits have been quality assured.”

– Sandford Award holder

It is one of the few awards that recognises the importance of heritage learning.

Sandford Award holder

Want to find out more?

For information on all aspects of the Sandford Award, please contact the Sandford Award Administrator:

Email: sandford@bishopg.ac.uk

Website: Heritage Education Trust: Home of the Sandford Award

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Heritage Education Trust
Bishop Grosseteste University
Longdales Road