Oakham School awarded for helping protect key workers during pandemic

The school was recognised at the D&T Excellence Awards 2021 for making more than 30,000 face shields for key workers during the first lockdown

A Rutland independent school has been awarded for its work in helping protect key workers during the pandemic.

Oakham was one of 10 schools to receive the ‘Onshape Special Award Recognising Design and Technology’s Social Impact’ at the D&T Excellence Awards 2021.

The school’s design and technology department created more than 30,000 face shields for key workers during the first lockdown in 2020, only stopping when the government confirmed it had the resources to provide PPE.

Initially delivered to local care homes and hospitals, the shields were soon helping protect workers as far away as Newcastle and Kent.

As the scale of need became clear, Oakham School collaborated with local manufacturers, Rutland Plastics, to further increase production. Stationery company, Fellowes, also donated visor material to support the initiative.

The head of Oakham School’s design and technology department, Tim Weston, was presented with the award during a ceremony at the Institution of Engineering Technology in London.

“I’m incredibly proud to have received this award on behalf of the school,” he said.

“It has been a real honour to have contributed, as a large team, to our key workers in a time of uncertainty. The way the community pulled together at such an essential time was really fantastic to witness, and having other departments giving up their free time to help was so humbling.

“The D&T community have really shown a united front in the face of the pandemic and it’s fantastic to be a part of this.”

Tony Ryan is chief executive of the Design and Technology Association, the body responsible for the awards.

He said: “At the association we did not want to let the opportunity pass to formally recognise the positive impact that Oakham School and many other D&T departments across the country made by stepping up and producing PPE in a time of crisis. In doing so we made a statement about the value of the subject that did not go unnoticed.”

The other nine schools to receive the award were Merchant Taylors’ School, Priory Community School, King Ecgbert School, John Taylor High School, Queen Elizabeth’s School, Bradfield School, Longdean School, Stamford School and King Henry VIII School.


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