2015 Sandford Awards

We are delighted to announce the 2015 Sandford Award winners.  Please click here to see the full list.  Many congratulations to all of the award winners from the Heritage Education Trust and Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln.


2016 Sandford Awards

The application round for the 2016 Sandford Awards will open in early December.  The 2016 Application Form will be available to download from this site as soon as the application round opens.  Click here to see a sample Application Form, as well as the Criteria and Judging Information Sheet.  

We have simplified the application process for Quinquennial Applicants (i.e. those renewing their award after 5 years).  You no longer need to submit a full application form, but will instead complete a 2-page form with details of any changes or developments since your last application.  The form will be available to download from this site as soon as the application round opens.  Click here to see a sample Quinquennial Application Form.

The deadline for all applications is Friday 19 February 2016 and the entry fee remains £200 per site.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list for the 2016 awards or have any queries, please email: sandford@bishopg.ac.uk


About the Sandford Award

The Sandford Award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles.

More than 350 sites - including historic houses, museums, galleries, places of worship, gardens, landscapes and collections – have received an Award since the scheme began in 1978.  They include Hampton Court Palace, Brunel’s ss Great Britain in Bristol, Fota Wildlife Park in Eire, Edinburgh Castle, and Big Pit - the National Mining Museum of Wales.

The Wallace Collection (2008 Sandford Award winner)

The Sandford Award represents a broad spectrum of heritage sector partners who recognise the importance of the continuing programme of quality assessment that they provide.  We are delighted to announce that Historic Royal Palaces has become our principal funder, with a new partnership agreement beginning in 2013.  The Historic Houses Association also supports our work.   The National Trust, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland, The Royal Armouries and National Museums in England, Wales and Ireland all submit their properties for assessment, alongside local authorities, independent trusts and private owners.  

The Awards focus 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 made annually and are non competitive.

Summer school at Harewood House (2008 Sandford Award winner)


Benefits for entrants

The Sandford Award provides:

  • A ‘kite mark’ for high quality education provision which is recognised by schools and other education institutions across the United Kingdom
  • The opportunity to use your award to attract new visitors
  • 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 and workshop to share good practice and learn from other practitioners
  • 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

Who manages the Award?

The Sandford Award is managed by the Heritage Education Trust in partnership with Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln.  The Trust is the only body in existence able to provide independent quality assurance to historic properties and collections which run education programmes.  Bishop Grosseteste has its own record of excellence in this field and offers a unique graduate and post graduate course in Heritage Education.  Together, these two institutions subsidise the cost of entry to the Sandford Awards five-fold in order to cover the cost of the assessment, the reporting process and the presentation ceremony.


Who we are

Tracy Borman, Sandford Coordinator and Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust

Jean MacIntyre, Head of Innovation, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln and Heritage Education Trust Director

John Hamer OBE, Chairman, Heritage Education Trust


Heritage Education Trust Directors

Sue Bennett

David Souden

Gareth Fitzpatrick MBE

Sharon Goddard

John Hamer OBE

Jean MacIntyre

Susanna Smart


Sandford Award Judges

Susie Batchelor

Sue Bennett

Tracy Borman

Christine Chadwick

Adam Clarke

Robin Clutterbuck

Irene Davies

Judy Davies

Rebecca Fawcett

Gareth Fitzpatrick

Clare Gittings

Chris Green

Karl Harris

Towse Harrison

Don Henson

Julian Humphrys

Deborah Jarman

Judi Jones

Julia Lawson-Tancred

Bill Leedham

Marion MacAuley

Christine MacLean

Jean MacIntyre

Caroline Marcus

Caroline Matthers

Jenny Newman

Amanda Phillipson

Nina Sprigge

Eric Steed

Julie Taylor

Louise West

Karen Wiseman


Sandford Award Volunteers

Betty Brown

Roseanne Lawton


Education session at Staircase House (2008 Sandford Award winner)

Bishop Grosseteste University is a registered charity | The Charity Commission Registration Number is 527276. The Heritage Education Trust is a Charitable Company | Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England No 2080758. The Charity Commission Registration Number is 297311