The ISA Awards 2017

The ISA Awards Ceremony is a celebration of the breadth of quality and provision across the country, celebrating the very best of independent school education in England. You can enter up to four of the fifteen available categories, covering everything from early years provision, to innovation in STEM.

The winners are announced at a glittering ceremony at the ISA’s Autumn Study Conference, hosted by an entertaining celebrity.

You can find more details for Autumn Study Conference and book your place here.

To be shortlisted for an ISA Award is to have your work honoured nationally for excellence and innovation. Don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity to join the roll of honour of the most celebrated schools in the country, as a winner of an ISA Award.

To enter the ISA Awards 2017, please click here and complete the entry form.

All rules and guidelines can be found on the entry form – please read these carefully before submitting your entry.


This year’s categories are below. You can click on each Award to see the full criteria for entry:

1.    ISA Early Years Award for Excellence and Innovation in Provision

Applications are sought from schools that can evidence the outstanding quality of their Early Years setting (open to any ISA school with Early Years, Pre-Prep or Nursery provision, including Reception). Evidence can be wide-ranging and may include EYFS inspection outcomes or value-added data, or evidence for innovation in provision with an emphasis on the curriculum.

2.    ISA Junior/Prep School Award for Academic Excellence and Innovation

This award is open to schools with provision covering the Junior/Prep years in the 5-13 age range. Excellence could be evidenced through pupil outcomes (including value-added data) and provision via inspection evidence or other recent external recognition. Judges will also look for evidence of curriculum innovation in one or more subject and/or extra-curricular areas where the positive impact on pupils is clear.

3.    ISA Senior School Award for Academic Excellence and Innovation

Open to schools with pupils in secondary and/or post-16 provision, judges are looking for excellence and/or innovation in pupil outcomes, or curricular or non-curricular programmes, evidenced as above.

4.    ISA Award for Outstanding Sport (Small School – fewer than 200 pupils)

Applications are sought from small schools that can evidence their outstanding sporting provision in relation to opportunities offered to pupils. This might include partnership work with state schools or the community, extensive extra-curricular programmes, or opportunities to access national/ international events. Applications from schools demonstrating very high levels of participation in Sport across the school are particularly encouraged.

5.    ISA Award for Outstanding Sport (Large School – 200 or more pupils)

Applications are sought from large schools that can evidence their outstanding sporting provision in relation to opportunities offered to pupils. Again, this might include partnership work with state schools or the community, extensive extra-curricular programmes, or opportunities to access national/ international events. Applications from schools demonstrating very high levels of participation in Sport across the school are particularly encouraged.

6.    ISA Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts

This Award will be presented to the school that can provide evidence of going the extra mile in terms of Performing Arts provision and achievement. This category covers dance, drama, instrumental music and choral singing. Schools wishing to apply may evidence just one or all of these areas.

7.    ISA Award for Excellence in the Fine Arts

This Award will be presented to the school that can provide evidence of going the extra mile in terms of Arts provision and achievement. This category covers fine art, sculpture, design and photography. Again, schools wishing to apply may evidence just one or all of these areas.

8.    ISA Award for Innovation in STEM

The judges will be looking for evidence of outstanding provision in one or more STEM disciplines. This might include innovative teaching methods, extra curricular provision, or engagement with the wider community.

9.    ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Pupils’ Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Award welcomes applications from schools with forward-thinking methods of ensuring Pupil Wellbeing. This may include innovative projects involving mindfulness or resilience, that help with prevention or enhance student welfare, self-esteem and inclusion within the school.

10.    ISA School Website of the Year

The School Website of the Year will be awarded to the school judged to have the most effective website in terms of accessibility, ease of navigation and overall design. Schools are invited to demonstrate the effectiveness of their website, through written examples and analysis.

11.    ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Partnerships

Schools that can demonstrate strong community or state sector partnerships are encouraged to enter this category. Judges will be looking for evidence of partnership working, sharing best practice, and provision of opportunities for maintained sector pupils or working with the community.

12.    ISA Award for Excellence in Extra-Curricular Activities

Applicants that can evidence their outstanding extra-curricular provision in relation to opportunities offered to pupils (in addition to sport and music which are covered in other categories). This might include CCFs, other uniformed organisations, chess clubs, debating societies, Duke of Edinburgh schemes, etc.

13.    ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Language Provision

The Award welcomes applications from schools who offer innovative and outstanding provision for languages. This may include EAL pupils or languages as part of the curriculum.

14.    ISA Award for Outstanding Engagement with Parents

Schools can demonstrate outstanding interaction and cohesion with parents, and show evidence of going the extra mile to work with and support parents. This may be through collaborative projects or innovative communication methods.

15.    ISA Award for Pupil and Parent Education in Online Safety

The Award will be given to schools who can demonstrate a commitment to Online Safety and offer outstanding and innovative initiatives to educate and protect students. This may include programmes that inform and educate parents in their online responsibilities.