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 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.
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
John Hamer OBE, Chairman, Heritage Education Trust
Heritage Education Trust Directors
Gareth Fitzpatrick MBE
John Hamer OBE
Sandford Award Judges
Sandford Award Volunteers