Applications are now open for the 2020 Sandford Awards which recognise and promote quality and best practice in educational provision by sites across the British Isles.

More than 500 sites including country houses, museums and galleries, places of worship, wildlife parks, historic gardens and landscapes and different collections have received the prestigious quality mark since the scheme began in 1978. They include, Boughton House, Museum of Cannock Chase, St Albans Cathedral, the Tower of the London, and Fota Wildlife Park.

The Award is independently judged and offers a quality assured assessment of a site’s formal education programme. The Sandford Award is managed by Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) in partnership with the Heritage Education Trust.

The Award focuses on formal, curriculum-linked education opportunities offered to schools by heritage sites, although recognition is also made of informal learning such as family programmes. The Awards are non-competitive.

Applications are welcomed from sites small and large, and run by national institutions, volunteers, local authorities, independent trusts, private owners.

What are the benefits for you and your museum or heritage site?

  • A ‘kite mark’ for high quality educational provision
  • The opportunity to use your award to attract school visits and new audiences
  • A detailed consultancy report as part of the expert judging process, which you can use to effect positive change in your organisation
  • The opportunity to attend an award ceremony
  • National recognition among the heritage sector of the personal contribution of you and your staff, which will help to motivate the whole site to develop its good practice further

What our award winners have to say

“The judge’s report will allow us to receive greater recognition within the framework of our organisation and highlight the significance of the work we do.”

Navan Centre & Fort

“It’s really useful, not just to have an outside voice to evaluate and respond to what you do, but to have a physical report that can be shared around the museum to really advocate for and showcase the work that is done.”

The Geffrye Museum

How do I find out more?

Our website provides all of the information you need to apply, including details of our criteria and the judging process. A series of films presented by Sandford Award judges and education officers at Award winning sites give tips and examples of good practice in heritage learning.

How do I apply?

To enter your site for a Sandford Award, all you need to do is complete an application form which is available to download from our website and submit it by email or post.

What does it cost to apply?

The application fee is £350 per site. If your organisation manages more than one site, you should submit a separate application for each.

Deadline for entries: 14 February 2020

For more information about the Sandford Awards, please contact:

Jayne Ellis

Sandford Award Administrator

01522 583695

3rd December 2019

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