2024 Independent Schools of the Year Nominations now open

2024 Nominations Now Open
Nominations close 4th June

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What the judges are looking for

The judges will be looking for stories of success which demonstrate how the schools applying for each award have fostered excellence and enhanced their students’ ability to grow and develop in whichever aspect of school life the award recognises.

In 2024, given the current political climate and the increasingly high profile debate about the role, value and contribution of independent schools, the judges are keen to receive entries which showcase and amplify good news stories about what our schools have achieved in the present academic year. We want the 2024 awards to demonstrate our schools’ undoubted value – educational, societal and economic – beyond fear of contradiction to the wider national community.

Success comes in many different 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 and narrate the achievement of excellence. Entries could talk about school life as a whole or focus on individual initiatives or achievements.

Each award celebrates a different element or dimension of an independent school education. Consequently, the judges will expect each entry to focus on the achievement of excellence in the area of activity for which the particular award is being made (rather than offering a holistic description of the school’s overall performance).

The judges have worked hard to simplify the criteria for each award and have developed a series of open, straightforward questions which need to be answered fully and effectively within the 500-word limit. We would encourage everyone who is going to be authoring an entry this year to take time to study the topic-specific questions relevant to the award they are entering and ensure they understand what the judges are looking for. It is always such a shame when we receive an entry which simply hasn’t been built around addressing the criteria specific to the individual award being sought and, therefore, has to be marked down.

The style and clarity of the written entry will also be important when scores are being awarded; the judges will be looking for a compelling story effectively told which draws them into the life of a school rather than a simple list of achievements.

2024 Awards Timeline