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Talk Education’s Awards for Innovation in Education 2023 – WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

By Talk Education
07 September 2023

Earlier this year, we launched our 2023 Talk Education Awards for Innovation in Education. For the second year running, we were blown away by the sheer number and quality of entries from hundreds of schools around the globe.   

We’ve harnessed our team’s combined 300 years of experience and on-the-ground, insider knowledge to keep tabs on what amazing things schools have been up to, and our panel of informers and judges – experienced researchers and educational experts, former heads, teachers and advisers, all with their eyes and ears to the ground – have spent the summer locked away in very heated discussion, whittling down our shortlist and winners to the schools that have impressed them the most.  

Our awards are designed to celebrate the schools who are changing the face of independent education by forging ahead with new, revolutionary ideas.   

We’ve heard from schools who have ripped up the traditional curriculum to teach coding and robotics from Reception; collaborated with big-scale businesses for pupils to test new products and ideas (and act as real-world guinea pigs); and tapped into fast-growing industries to launch the most up-to-the-minute, future-ready academic programmes. City schools have told us of the innovative ways they’ve made space for kitchen gardens and beehives on campus; other schools have been busy joining forces with social enterprises to raise awareness of gender equality, and our ears pricked up when one told us they managed to raise over a million pounds for their bursary coffers in just 36 hours. We’ve loved hearing about sports lessons with a difference (yes, that includes training for a Channel swim), and schools using outdoor education to collect data for marine conservation societies or volunteer for local fire and rescue services. It’s safe to say that our judges had no easy task.   

So, without further ado, drum roll please…  


Best use of technology
We're less interested in how much schools have spent or how many shiny Macs they have, but in how effectively they use tech to enhance pupils' learning.  

WINNER: CATERHAM PREP SCHOOL

Barnard Castle School, County Durham
Caterham Prep School, Surrey
Edgbaston High Prep School, Birmingham
Stonyhurst College, Lancashire
The Unicorn School, Oxfordshire
Wolverhampton Grammar School, West Midlands  

Community engagement or charity fundraising
For a school that has found a new way to open its doors to the wider community, or pioneered a new approach to raise money for charities at home or overseas.  

WINNER: PORT REGIS SCHOOL

Bassett House, London
Benenden School, Kent
Gordonstoun, Moray
Port Regis School, Dorset
St Edward’s School Oxford, Oxford  

Inspiring sporting activities
From encouraging members of the F-team to nurturing future Olympians, we’re interested in achievements and initiatives related to anything that gets pupils active: be it sailing or squash, cricket or CCF.  

WINNER: EASTBOURNE COLLEGE

Caldicott School, Buckinghamshire
Dauntsey’s, Wiltshire
Eastbourne College, East Sussex
Giggleswick School, North Yorkshire
Repton School, Derbyshire  

Equity, diversity and inclusion
Lip service doesn’t cut it: we want to hear how your school is going above and beyond to make a genuine impact and ensure every single member of the school community feels included, represented and celebrated.  

WINNER: BRYANSTON SCHOOL

ACS International School Egham, Surrey
Aysgarth School, North Yorkshire
Bryanston School, Dorset
Bute House, London
The International School of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  

Innovation in nutrition or food
This could be a new catering team, a change in dining facilities, a revised menu to encourage pupils to eat more healthily or a new approach to monitor pupils at risk of eating disorders.  

WINNER: IBSTOCK PLACE SCHOOL

Bruern Abbey Prep School, Oxfordshire
Dragon School, Oxfordshire
Ibstock Place School, London
Lancing College, West Sussex
Mowden Hall School, Northumberland
Walhampton School, Hampshire  

Environmental achievement
For inspiring and encouraging eco-awareness in pupils or creating an eco-innovative learning space or building (everything from farms to carbon-neutral classrooms).  

WINNER: HIGHFIELD AND BROOKHAM

Highfield and Brookham, Hampshire
Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill, London
Marlborough House School, Kent
Rose Hill School, Kent
St Anthony’s School for Boys, London
Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai, UAE  

Bursary provision
This could be the launch of an ambitious new foundation or a successful new approach to publicising a school’s bursaries scheme, resulting in an increased number of candidates.  

WINNER: WELLINGTON COLLEGE

LVS Ascot, Berkshire
Marlborough College, Wiltshire
Queen’s College London, London
St Peter’s School York, Yorkshire
Tonbridge School, Kent
Wellington College, Berkshire  

Pastoral care and wellbeing
All schools tell us that their pastoral care is top-notch – we're interested in the initiatives they have introduced to guarantee that theirs is unparalleled.  

WINNER: ETON END SCHOOL

Benedict House Prep School, Kent
Cumnor House Sussex, Sussex
Eton End School, Berkshire
Pinewood School, Wiltshire
Sevenoaks School, Kent
Warwick School, Warwickshire  

Thinking beyond the curriculum
How do schools inspire pupils to think beyond the core and challenge themselves to take their interest in a subject further?

WINNER: DEAN CLOSE SCHOOL  

Copperfield International School Verbier, Switzerland
Dean Close School, Gloucestershire
Harrow School, Middlesex & Notting Hill and Ealing High School GDST, London [JOINT ENTRY]
Kensington Wade, London
Wycombe Abbey, Buckinghamshire  

Performing and creative arts
We want to celebrate schools’ innovation in the teaching of music, art, drama, dance, photography, D&T and anything else that gets pupils’ creative juices flowing.

  JOINT WINNERS: BRAMBLETYE SCHOOL & TOWER HOUSE SCHOOL

Brambletye School, West Sussex
Canford, Dorset
Godstowe School, Buckinghamshire
Heathfield School, Berkshire
The Elms, Worcestershire
Tower House School, London
The King’s School, Canterbury, Kent  

Support for life beyond school
Instead of telling us how many pupils got into their first-choice university, we want to know what your school is doing to help ensure pupils are fully prepared to bid goodbye to their school bubble and tackle an increasingly competitive further education market head on.  

WINNER: BRIGHTON COLLEGE DUBAI

Brighton College Dubai, UAE
Downe House, Berkshire
Dulwich Prep London, London
Riverston Senior School & College, London
Surbiton High Senior School, London
Wetherby Senior School, London  

Entrepreneurship and business
Today’s pupils need to be prepared for jobs that don’t currently exist – how are you coaching and empowering the leaders of tomorrow?  

WINNER: DLD COLLEGE LONDON

Claremont Prep School, East Sussex
DLD College London, London
Great Ballard, West Sussex
Haberdashers’ Adams Grammar School, Shropshire
Moreton Hall, Shropshire

And finally…

The Alice Rose Award

Alice Rose, co-founder of Talk Education, sadly passed away in May 2022. Very much loved not only by the Talk team but by schools and parents alike, she remains a driving force behind Talk Education, and it is thanks to her brilliant vision, her positivity and inspiration that Talk has grown into the huge success story it is today.  

In honour of Alice, our judges have selected the school that embodies the qualities Alice was most passionate about - a school where children are allowed to be children, one that supports growth and learning but allows them to climb trees and get muddy knees, where confident, nurtured, happy children enjoy their childhood. A true home-from-home.  

The Alice Rose Award has been awarded by the whole of the TE team, as well as Alice’s husband James Rose and her three young boys.  

There was no shortlist for this very special award, and all schools were carefully considered. 

JOINT WINNERS: PAPPLEWICK SCHOOL & SAINT RONAN’S SCHOOL

Thank you to all of the schools who took the time to tell us about the amazing, innovative things they are up to – a wonderful reflection of the incredible commitment of so many schools across the globe.

See you next year!