2017 Sandford Awards

The application round for the 2017 Sandford Awards is now closed. 

To register an interest in the 2018 Sandford Awards, please contact : sandford@bishopg.ac.uk  The application round is due to open in early December and the application form will be available to download here.

2016 Sandford Award Winners

We are delighted to announce the 2016 Sandford Award winners.  Please click here to see the full list.  The Heritage Education Trust and Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln would like to congratulate all of the award winners. The 2016 awards ceremony was held at Worcester Cathedral.

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.

Almost 500 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 the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh; official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland, Worcester Cathedral, Holdenby House in Northamptonshire, London Transport Museum and Lismore Castle Arts in Northern Ireland.

King Richard III Visitor Centre, Leicestershire (Sandford Award winner 2016)

The National Trust, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland, English Heritage 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.

Durham Cathedral (Sandford Award winner 2016)


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
  • 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 which has its own record of excellence offering a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or the full Masters Degree in Heritage Education.The Trust is the only body in existence able to provide independent quality assurance to historic properties and collections which run education programmes. 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, 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

Jayne Ellis, Sandford Award Administrator


Heritage Education Trust Directors

Head of Steam- Darlington Railway Museum (Sandford Award winner 2016)

Head of Steam- Darlington Railway Museum (Sandford Award winner 2016)

Sue Bennett

David Souden

Gareth Fitzpatrick MBE

Sharon Goddard

John Hamer OBE

Jean MacIntyre

Susanna Smart


Sandford Award Judges

Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, Lincolnshire (Sandford Award winner 2016)

Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, Lincolnshire (Sandford Award winner 2016)

Susie Batchelor

Sue Bennett

Rebecca Bewick

Tracy Borman

Christine Chadwick

Adam Clarke

Robin Clutterbuck

Irene Davies

Judy Davies

Gareth Fitzpatrick

Clare Gittings

Tower of London (Sandford Award winner 2016)

Tower of London (Sandford Award winner 2016)

Chris Green

Karl Harris

Don Henson

Julian Humphrys

Judi Jones

Julia Lawson-Tancred

Bill Leedham

Marion MacAuley

Christine MacLean

Caroline Marcus

Sudbury Hall and the National Trust Museum of Childhood (Sandford Award winner 2016)

Sudbury Hall and the National Trust Museum of Childhood (Sandford Award winner 2016)

Caroline Matthers

Jenny Newhouse

Amanda Phillipson

Nina Sprigge

Eric Steed

Julie Taylor

Louise West

Karen Wiseman


Sandford Award Volunteers

Betty Brown



Castell Henllys Iron Age Village, Pembrokeshire (Sandford Award winner 2015)

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