The 2014 Education Business Awards, sponsored by Rathbones, will once again recognise outstanding achievements in the UK education sector, and the hard work and dedication of teachers, department heads business managers and support staff that are instrumental in contributing to the success of the school.
Over 20 categories focus on academic progress, facilities, best practice, specialisms and innovation. Shortlisted organisations are given free tickets to attend the glittering awards ceremony, which includes a champagne drinks reception and four course luncheon, before the winning schools are revealed.
The Awards, which take place on 10 July at London’s Grange Hotel in St Pauls, will be presented by Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies. Coming onto the scene as a 13 year old Olympian in 1976, Davies has led a successful career as sportswoman, winning silver in the 1980 Moscow Olympics and two gold medals at Commonwealth Games.
OUTSTANDING PROGRESS The Outstanding Progress Award for an Independent School, sponsored by Rathbones, will be presented to the UK Independent school that has made outstanding progress in the management of its facilities, finances and human resources and can demonstrate an increase in the educational performance of the school.
Last year Guildford High School in Surrey took home the title as it continues to reach exceptionally high standards. In March this year, it was awarded National Teaching School status by the National College for School Leadership and is the lead school for a programme which spans the 10 independent schools and 22 academies within the United Learning group.
The Award for Outstanding Progress for a Primary School, sponsored by Elliotts Cleaning, is presented to the UK Primary that can show an increase in the educational performance of the school.
Last year Littleworth Grange Primary Learning Centre in Barnsley scooped the award as it has seen a dramatic turnaround in results since 2009. 92 per cent of its pupils got pass grades in their SATS in 2012, compared to 32 per cent three years ago.
The Outstanding Progress award for the Secondary School, sponsored by NEC Display Solutions, is awarded to the UK Secondary School that has made major improvements to education.
Seaham School of Technology in County Durham won the award last year as it is one of the most improved schools in England. Despite being in Special Measures over three years ago, in 2013, 100 per cent of students gained 5A*-C, and 71 per cent gained 5A*-C including English and Maths.
PARTNERSHIP WORKING The Academy Partnership Award, sponsored by ESPO, is presented to the established specialist academy that can demonstrate benefits to the community through a partnership with a existing establishment (primary school, secondary school, university).
In 2013, Baxter College and Habberly in Worcester won the award. Habberley Educational Learning Partnership (H.E.L.P.). is an innovative educational project, designed to provide a new Special School on the site of an existing Academy and Primary School.
GETTING OUT AND ABOUT Presented to the educational establishment that can demonstrate a commitment to providing students with a range of subject specific educational visits in order to further their learning experience, the Educational Visits Award this year is sponsored by the Rainforest Cafe. In 2013 Ashley CofE Primary School in Surrey won the award due to its eco-focused trips to Chamonix in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. This takes place over five days where the children design ways to ensure the well-being of Chamonix through five themes: energy, food, water, waste and transport. Two more schools have now taken up the programme.
AN ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING The Environmental Building Award is given to the school building project that can demonstrate a benefit to both the learning and local environment through its design. Last year the award went to Reading Blue Coat School for its Richard Aldworth Building. Environmental features include a ground-source heat pump, underfloor heating and rainwater recycling. The deep roof overhang and window shades keep the temperature cool during the summer while a tall atrium with a glass roof running the length of the building brings in natural light.
The School Building Award, sponsored by MPBA, will be taken home by the establishment that has provided the most technically advanced building constructed for the purpose of teaching present and future pupils.
Last year, Newlands School in Southwark won the award thanks to its new building, which has superb facilities for sport, design, construction, hospitality and catering, art and the performing arts alongside specialist teaching focus on literacy and numeracy.
STAYING SAFE & HEALTHY New for 2014, the Excellence in Health and Safety Award, sponsored by IOSH, will celebrate best practice in operational health and safety concentrating on business as usual health and safety and recognising the valuable work the responsible managers do to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment for teachers, pupils and the general public every day.
Another new award for 2014 is Innovation in Health and Safety, sponsored by IOSH. It will recognise those who go the extra mile, whether that is schools who have used good health and safety practice to help provide opportunities for their pupils to participate in activities that might otherwise have been denied them, schools who have used good pragmatic health and safety practice to solve an issue, or schools who have championed the value of good health and safety to better prepare their pupils for their future in the world of work.
Concentrating on more physical security measures, the School Security Award, sponsored by SECOM Plc, recognises the UK school that has made outstanding efforts to increase security through a combination of increased awareness in staff and pupils and the procurement and installation of additional security measures. The 2013 winner was Brentford School for Girls in Middlesex. As part of an ongoing review of facilities, the school upgraded its analogue CCTV to a high definition IP based CCTV system which now runs across the schools existing IT network and consists of 14 external bullet cameras, eight internal vandal proof mini dome cameras and three encoders to integrate the existing equipment.
IT AND COMPUTING Awarded to the educational establishment in the UK that has provided a first class environment for the teaching of ICT and related subjects, the ICT Facility Award is sponsored by Ultimaker. The 2013 winner was Bushey Academy in Herts. Its new building includes an Internet Café with 30 Macs for use before and after school; a dedicated PC lab with 60 computers; a Science Mega-lab; The Cube Theatre with state of the art a/v equipment, Mac suites for art, TV and music departments; multi-media suites for photo editing and Kindles and laptops available from the library.
The ICT Innovation Award, sponsored by KYOCERA Document Solutions, is awarded to the educational establishment in the UK that can demonstrate innovation in its approach to teaching and deploying Information and Communication technologies that further the learning experience of its students. The 2013 winner was Oak Lodge School for Deaf Children in Wandsworth for its innovative use of technology to help deaf children hear sound through visualisation.
FOOD & MUSIC The School Catering Award, sponsored by MIW, is presented to educational establishment in the UK that can demonstrate a commitment to healthy eating and value for money through the provision of a first class catering service available to all students.
Last year, Manchester Health Academy in Wythenshawe scooped the title. It was the first school in the UK to receive the Children’s Food Trust Award. The academy operates a healthy lunch box policy and works closely lead sponsor, the Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust, to embed health across the curriculum.
The School Music Award, sponsored by Stage Systems, is presented to the educational establishment that can demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of musical learning through the provision of a first class teaching environment.
Last year, All Saints’ CofE Primary in Essex took home the award after many years of enthusiastic and dedicated singing in assemblies, the classroom and even on the way to lunch. This has earned pupils and staff the Sing Up Platinum School Award. The school has also worked with its local secondary the Plume, Maldon Choral Society and the Maldon Youth Orchestra and takes part each year in the Barnados children’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall where pupils are regularly chosen to sing solo.
Another new award for 2014 is the Personal Finance Education Award, sponsored by Rathbones. It is presented to the school that has successfully incorporated Personal Finance Education into the curriculum and can demonstrate how its efforts have increased pupils’ understanding of personal money management.
The School Recruitment Award, sponsored by Recruitment and Employment Confederation, will recognise an educational establishment which has invested in its recruitment methods and processes to ensure a timely intake of appropriate teaching and support staff. The 2013 winner was Kent County Council Schools for using social media to attact new teachers to the county.
The Sports Award, sponsored by Affordable Awnings, is awarded to the educational establishment in the UK that can demonstrate an outstanding commitment to developing the sporting skills of its students through the provision of first class facilities and coaching programmes.
The Harefield Academy in Middlesex, renowned locally and nationally for its sporting excellence, won the award last year.
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS The SEN Inclusion Award, sponsored by OKI, is presented to the UK Mainstream School that can demonstrate an increase in the quality of care and education services provided to students with Special Educational Needs.
Last year, Walthamstow Academy in Londonn won for its successful SEN inclusion programmes which has significantly reduced the gap between SEN students and their peers. The Academy is now a Centre of Excellence after getting an Inclusion Quality Mark.
The SEN Provision Award, sponsored by Nasen, is presented to the UK SEN Establishment that can demonstrate quality of care and education services for Special Educational Needs pupils. Last year, Springfields Academy in Wiltshire won the award. It is a specialist sports college for children living with autism and challenging emotional and social difficulties and was judged Outstanding by Ofsted last year.