2014 Sandford Awards

We are delighted to announce this year's Sandford Award winners.  Please click here to see the full list.  The awards were presented at the National Maritime Museum (one of this year's winners) on Friday 5 December.


2015 Sandford Awards

The application round for the 2015 Sandford Awards is now open.  Click here to download the Application Form and Criteria and Judging Information Sheet.  

New for this year: We have simplified the application process for Quinquennial Applicants (i.e. those who last won an award in 2010).  You no longer need to submit a full application form.  Simply complete the 2-page Quinquennial Application Form with details of any changes or developments since your last application.

The deadline for all applications is 13 February 2015 and the entry fee remains £200 per site.

If you 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

Sheila Brock

Gareth Fitzpatrick MBE

John Hamer OBE

Jean MacIntyre

Susanna Smart


Sandford Award Judges

Susie Batchelor

Tracy Borman

Christine Chadwick

Adam Clarke

Robin Clutterbuck

Irene Davies

Judy Davies

Gareth Fitzpatrick

Chris Green

Towse Harrison

Don Henson

Julian Humphrys

Deborah Jarman

Judi Jones

Bill Leedham

Marion MacAuley

Jean MacIntyre

Julia Murray

Amanda Phillipson

Susanna Smart

Nina Sprigge

Eric Steed

Emma Webb

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