The ISA Awards

The ISA Awards is an annual event that celebrates success in our Members’ schools, and recognises the breadth of quality and provision in independent education across the country.

They offer an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your school’s high quality provision, and to celebrate your success with staff and fellow ISA Members. The Awards also allow you to promote your achievements both to existing and prospective parents, and the wider community, by providing schools with national publicity and the chance to proudly promote this via their own marketing platforms.

Schools may enter up to four awards. Judging takes place over the Summer and finalists are announced in September, with the winners being announced at our Awards Ceremony at DoubleTree by Hilton, Coventry on 12 November.

Download the timeline for the awards process here


The ISA Awards 2020 – Entries now open until Friday 24 July

You can access the Entry form and Guidelines here.

 

Click on the categories below to view the criteria for entering.

*ISA Junior School of the Year Award

ISA Junior or Prep schools are among the best in the country, but this award isn’t about resources or buildings. To be ISA Junior School of the Year, entrants will be able to demonstrate how their school makes a positive difference to the educational outcomes of the children in its care. Those outcomes can be in any/multiple areas of a school’s operation, such as special educational needs, sport, the arts, curriculum or the co-curriculum. It could be sustained excellence in personal or academic outcomes, or even the success of an individual child over and above expectations. The winner of this prestigious award will be able to demonstrate the clear cause-and-effect between decisions made by the school and the exceptional outcomes achieved. You don’t have to enter other awards categories to be eligible for this award.

*ages 0-11

*ISA Senior School of the Year Award

ISA Senior schools are among the best in the country, but as with the Junior Award, this isn’t about investment in resources or buildings. To be ISA Senior School of the Year, entrants will be able to demonstrate how the school makes a positive difference to the educational outcomes of the children in its care. Those outcomes can be in any/multiple areas of a school’s operation, such as special educational needs, sport, the arts, curriculum or the co-curriculum. It could be sustained excellence in personal or academic outcomes, or even the success of an individual child over and above expectations. The winner of this prestigious award will be able to demonstrate the clear cause-and-effect between decisions made by the school and the exceptional outcomes achieved. You don’t have to enter other awards categories to be eligible for this award.

*ages 11-18

ISA Award for Outstanding Sport (*Small School)

Entries are sought from small schools that demonstrate evidence of their outstanding sporting provision in relation to opportunities offered to pupils. Judges are looking for schools that have successfully implemented an all-round approach to sport, and entrants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate how their school encourages a culture of participation and inclusivity in sport, as well as outlining individual sporting achievements.

*1 class per year group

ISA Award for Outstanding Sport (*Large School)

Entries are sought from large schools that demonstrate evidence of their outstanding sporting provision in relation to opportunities offered to pupils. Judges are looking for schools that have successfully implemented an all-round approach to sport, and entrants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate how their school encourages a culture of participation and inclusivity in sport, as well as outlining individual sporting achievements.

*more than 1 class per year group

ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Performing Arts

Judges are looking for evidence of going the extra mile in terms of performing arts provision and achievement, including innovative teaching techniques, or an offering of extraordinary opportunities for all pupils, with clear evidence of how this has helped to enhance their learning. This category covers dance, drama, instrumental music and choral singing. Schools wishing to apply may evidence just one or all of these areas.

ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Fine Arts

Judges are looking for evidence of going the extra mile in terms of fine arts provision and achievement, including innovative teaching techniques, or an offering of extraordinary opportunities for all pupils, with clear evidence of how this has helped to enhance their learning. This category covers fine art, sculpture, design and photography. Again, schools wishing to apply may evidence just one or all of these areas.

ISA Award for Outstanding Provision for Learning Support

Schools entering this award may wish to say what they do to recognise each child’s needs, what imaginative support they have put in to match those needs, how they monitor progress or how they help all their staff to have an input into each child’s development. Entrants are encouraged to show clear outcomes for each child, and to provide some success stories (these do not have to be linked to exam results).

ISA Award for Excellence in Pupil Personal Development (new for 2020)

Judges will look for schools that are instilling transferable life skills in their students, which could be gained from extra-curricular activities, or any other initiatives. Schools can include projects that develop pupils’ mental agility and resilience, provided there is evidence on how this prepares them for the challenges of a changing future.

ISA Award for Outstanding Local Community Involvement

Entries are sought from schools that can evidence an outstanding local community contribution, and the positive impact it has on all those involved. This could be through community projects, state partnership working, sharing best practice or facilities.

ISA Award for Outstanding International Involvement

Entries are sought from schools that can evidence an outstanding international contribution, and the positive impact it has on all those involved. This could be through charitable work, engagement in overseas projects, and innovative teaching.

ISA Award for Innovation in Pupil Voice (new for 2020)

Judges are looking for schools that encourage their pupils to be involved in the day to day running of the school – be that financially, through school development planning, or by having a strong input in the school’s strategic objectives or curriculum management. Evidence is likely to go beyond common pupil committees and meetings, showing real pupil engagement in school-wide decision making.

ISA Award for Outstanding STEAM Provision

The judges are looking for evidence of innovation and outstanding linked provision in STEAM disciplines, which benefits all pupils. This might include innovative teaching methods, extra-curricular provision, or engagement with the wider community.

ISA Award for Sustainability and Environmental Education (new for 2020)

Judges are looking for initiatives that educate the whole school on the current climate crisis, and particularly those that successfully promote a culture of environmental responsibility to their pupils. Schools should demonstrate how they are inspiring the next generation, to make the changes necessary to avoid the irreversible impact that global warming will have on our planet.

ISA Marketing Initiative of the Year (new for 2020)

This award has been designed to recognise and celebrate the innovative work taking place within the area of marketing, and the influence this can have on the overall viability of the school. Entrants should outline one successful marketing strategy they have implemented in the last academic year, and include details on: any findings from marketing audits – i.e. why the new strategy was adopted, what the overall objectives were, and what marketing activities were involved. Please provide evidence of quantitative and/or qualitative data, which demonstrates how the strategy was a success and what goals and benchmarks were met. Both traditional and digital marketing strategies are welcomed for this award.