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National Schools Awards to Recognise Sector's Dedication During Uncertain Times

The Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) in conjunction with the Schools & Academies Show, officially launched the National Schools Awards 2020 today; 20th May. This initiative will bring together more than 250 school leaders and education pioneers to celebrate and reward excellence from across the industry.

Baroness Berridge, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System has highlighted the importance of recognising the achievements of the education sector. Baroness Berridge said it was vital to celebrate the “skill, commitment and hard work” of school leaders amidst the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

Now in its second year, the award ceremony will take place at the House of Lords in London on 26th November. Following the huge success of last year’s inaugural event, the award categories have been increased from six to eight, all of which are designed to showcase exceptional school business management, leadership and governance.

Hotly contested categories include Income Innovator of the Year, Leadership Team of the Year, School of the Year and MAT of the Year, whilst a deserving educator and professional that has dedicated their life to pupils and improving the sector will pick up the Lifetime Achievement award. Applications are submitted via the official website -, with a closing date of 25th September.

In response to the launch of this year’s awards, Baroness Berridge said: “The National School Awards recognise the skill, commitment, and hard work it takes to deliver the best possible education, this is especially important in a time of such uncertainty. I welcome this opportunity to celebrate the contribution of school leaders and look forward to hearing of your incredible achievements in transforming the opportunities of children and young people.”

Bethan Cullen, Operations Director at the ISBL, added: “School leaders have faced such challenges and continued to deliver exceptional learning opportunities using new approaches to learning; whilst also ensuring the safety and wellbeing of these pupils and staff. It is essential that we pause to reflect on these significant achievements, celebrate the successes and ensure sector learning is cascaded across the system. It is through the successful triangulation of leadership across pedagogy, business and governance that schools have succeeded in navigating this crisis and limiting the impact on pupils’ progress.”

Chris Callaghan, Event Director of the Schools & Academies Show, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate excellence during what is the most challenging period for educators and pupils in a generation. Many schools have put in place innovative measures to communicate and engage with their pupils and we look forward to learning more about their experiences and recognising their determination and dedication.”

For more information about the awards and how to get involved, please visit the official website at