The second annual Independent Schools’ Association (ISA) Awards, focusing on innovation and excellence, celebrated the outstanding achievement of independent schools across a range of categories. This year, ISA Awards were presented in 13 categories, celebrating a variety of achievements including Excellence in the Arts, Healthy Eating and the School Website of the Year.
Neil Roskilly, Chief Executive of the ISA, commented: “The 2015 ISA Awards once more demonstrated that our schools are at the forefront of innovation and excellence in independent education. If anything, the standard of entry was even higher than last year, and we are extremely proud of the achievement of our finalists.”
Hosted by TV personality Penny Smith, the winning schools included Radnor House, Thames Christian College, CATS Canterbury and Hatherop Castle School, who celebrated their achievement with colleagues and friends at the annual ISA Autumn Study Conference.
ISA Community Award: Radnor House
ISA Award for Outstanding Provision in Sport: Scarisbrick School
ISA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sport: Queen Ethelburgas
Outstanding Contribution for International Understanding: Thames Christian College
ISA Award for Excellence in the Arts: Hatherop
ISA Early Years Award for excellence and innovation in provision: St Edwards Prep
ISA Green School of the Year: Hurst Lodge School
ISA Award for Healthy Eating: Ballard School
ISA Award for IT Innovation: Bredon School
School Website of the Year: St Pedrocs
ISA Award for Financial Management: Hipperholme Grammar
ISA Junior/Prep School Award for excellence and innovation in provision: Hatherop
ISA Senior School Award for excellence and innovation in provision: CATS Canterbury
Stephen Holsgrove, Headteacher at Thames Christian College, commented: “We are very touched to receive the Outstanding Contribution for International Understanding Award. It means a lot to us and to the charity who organise it for us, Go Make a Difference. The grassroots nature of our trip where our pupils work alongside villages in one of the poorest areas of Tanzania really enables pupils to gain a greater understanding of the challenges of life in a developing world country. It is one of the best educational initiatives we have ever undertaken and each one of us would jump at the chance to go back. Pupils return from the trip changed people, more mature and determined to make the most of their education.”
Hatherop Castle Prep School and Nursery in Gloucestershire picked up two awards at this year’s Independent Schools Association (ISA) award ceremony, including the Excellence in Provision and Innovation award. Having already picked up the Excellence in the Arts award earlier in the evening, Headmaster Paul Easterbrook was clearly over the moon to be called back to receive the top award to a prep school bestowed by the ISA, from TV presenter Penny Smith.
Since joining the Wishford Schools group of independent prep schools in 2014, it has benefited from an enormous injection of investment and expert support. Paul Easterbrook has capitalised on the benefits of membership of the group, embarking on a huge programme of development and improvement, extending educational resources and opportunities to children, and the scope of the school as a whole.
Arts at Hatherop Castle
Paul Easterbrook said: “We are utterly delighted that Hatherop Castle has been recognised in this way. A huge amount of work, dedication and enthusiasm goes into our school. Hatherop Castle is a community, and from the administrative and support staff, to the teaching staff, to the parent body and the wonderful children in our care, our absolute commitment is to providing a happy and supportive environment in which children achieve amazing things.”
Sarah Welch, current chair of ISA, concluded: “What made the evening particularly memorable was how thrilled the Heads and their senior teams were to have the efforts of their staff and pupils recognised in this way. There was a real sense of excitement and celebration. It was also great to see such a wide range of schools winning the awards, reflecting the diversity within ISA. We know our members work hard to provide the best education they can for the children in their care, and this was the opportunity to put their excellent practice in the spotlight.”