ABOUT INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS OF THE YEAR 2019
Showcasing the excellence of the educational experience available to students of all backgrounds, Independent Schools of the Year 2019 is an awards scheme that has been designed by Independent School Parent magazine to recognise and applaud the varied and imaginative ways in which independent schools prepare young people for their future lives.
The awards are free to enter for all independent schools which are members of an association in membership of the Independent Schools Council*. The 20 awards categories have been chosen to reflect the breadth and diversity of life in an independent school in the 21st century and the aim of Independent Schools of the Year 2019 is to acknowledge the contribution these often long-established institutions make to both their local communities and wider society in today’s world.
The awards will be chaired by Dr Helen Wright, international education adviser and past Vice Chair of the ISC, supported by a panel of judges which includes leading Head Teachers and representatives of the professional associations, including
- Dr Helen Wright, International Education Advisor and past Vice Chair of the ISC
- Charlotte Avery, Headmistress, St Mary’s School Cambridge
- Colin Bell, CEO, COBIS
- Andrew Fleck, Principal, , Sedbergh School, Cumbria
- Robin Fletcher, Chief Executive, Boarding Schools’ Association
- Tory Gillingham, Managing Director, AMCIS
- Zoe MacDougall, Parent
- Jim Massey, Headmaster, Daneshill School
- David Moncrieff, Chair, Editorial Advisory Board, Independent School Parent
- Julie Robinson, General Secretary, ISC
- Peter Tait, Educational writer and former Head of Sherborne Prep School, Dorset
- Philippa Scudds, Director of Marketing and Communications at Canford School,Dorset
- Sue Woodroofe, Principal, The Grammar School at Leeds
- Peter Young, School Governor
Helen Wright comments “I am absolutely delighted to be chairing the judging panel for the Independent Schools of the Year for a second time. These awards recognise and celebrate the amazing experiences and opportunities for students in independent schools across the UK. Every day, students in independent schools benefit from the innovation and commitment of their teachers and support staff; we want to hear these inspirational stories and spread the word about excellence in the sector. We were delighted by the breadth and depth of the entries we received last year and hope we will get even more in 2019.”
The judges will be looking for stories of success which demonstrate how the schools applying for each award have fostered excellence and supported positive student experiences in whichever aspect of school life the award recognises. They will be looking for evidence of something special – something uplifting. Much of what goes on in independent schools on a day-to-day basis is astonishing in its impact and excellence and the achievements of their students are truly awe-inspiring.
Success comes in many different forms and guises – from winning national competitions to creating life-changing moments. The judges will be open to individual schools’ own interpretation of what represents success for them. They will be keen to see how the schools present their stories to demonstrate the achievement of excellence. Entries could talk about school life as a whole or focus on individual initiatives or achievements, but they will all need to be underpinned by supporting evidence and demonstrate positive impact.
The judges will also be interested to learn about the sustainability of the activities described and will want to understand how the wider student experience has been enriched.
The presentation of the entry will also be important; the judges will be looking for a compelling story which draws them into the life of a school rather than a simple list of achievements.
The award categories for which schools can apply are:
- Independent Pre-Prep School of the Year
- Independent Prep School of the Year
- Co-educational Independent School of the Year
- Independent Girls’ School of the Year
- Independent Boys’ School of the Year
- Independent Boarding School of the Year
- British International School of the Year
- Small Independent School of the Year
- Independent School of the Year for Sporting Achievement
- Independent School of the Year for the Performing Arts (music & drama)
- Independent School of the Year for Student Careers Programme
- Independent School of the Year for Community Outreach
- Independent School of the Year for Contribution to Social Mobility
- Independent School of the Year for Student Well-Being
- Independent School of the Year for International Student Experience
- Independent School of the Year for Healthy Eating
- The Marketing Award for Effective Brand Communication
- The Green Award for Environmental Achievement
A further award will be made for the Independent School of the Year which will be chosen by the judges from amongst the winners of the other categories.
The final award will be the Rising Star Award, which will be open to individual students who are nominated by their schools for outstanding personal achievement. The winner of the Rising Star award will be decided by Independent School Parent magazine’s editorial and publishing team.
Nominations will open on Tuesday 19th March and close on Friday 24th May 2019 . The announcement of the winners will be the centrepiece to a PR campaign, led by Independent School Parent, working in co-operation with the professional associations. Running across a raft of media platforms, its aim will be to challenge widely-held misconceptions about independent education and celebrate the contribution these schools continue to make to our country’s success by showcasing the stories of our winners.
Winning and commended schools will be presented with specially commissioned award rosettes for use across their print and online marketing materials.
* Any British International School which is a member of COBIS is eligible to apply for the British International School Award.