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Talk Education Awards
for Innovation in Education

Talk Education's inaugural school awards are here! We're using our combined 300 years of experience of the independent schools world to celebrate those who have impressed us the most.
There are a lot of awards out there in the world of independent education, so we wanted to make ours different. Instead of replicating the well-worn categories you've seen time and time again, we're setting out to reward schools who are forging boldly ahead with new, revolutionary ideas which are changing the face of independent education. Not just thinking outside the box, but setting fire to it and then building something new, cleverer, better. We want to sing the praises of schools who are doing inspiring work in a particular field, whether it's their use of technology or a new approach to community engagement. 

We were blown away by the number and quality of entries from hundreds of schools all across the globe, and our team of dedicated informers and judges – experienced researchers and educational experts, former heads, teachers and advisors, all with their eyes and ears to the ground – spent the summer locked away in very heated discussion! We are now delighted to announce our winners.

No school had to pay or subscribe to TE to enter our Awards, so it was a completely open playing field. In fact, schools didn't have to do anything at all to enter. The last thing we wanted to do was make more work for overloaded marketing departments; and more importantly we already know schools inside and out. Our awards are a celebration of you: the trailblazers doing things differently.

Our winners have now been announced. 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!


  • 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.

  • 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).

  • Community engagement or charity fundraising
For a school which 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Inspiring co-curricular activities
We want to celebrate schools' innovation in the teaching of music, art, drama, sport or clubs.

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

  • 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?

The important bits

What is the timeline for the Awards?

Entries to our Awards have now closed. The shortlist was announced on Tuesday 30th August in time for schools to shout loudly about their achievements as the new academic year begins. Winners were announced on Thursday 8th September. 

Remember, schools didn't need to enter our Awards. With our on-the-ground knowledge, we know what amazing things lots of schools are doing, and so all schools are automatically entered. If you’re a school and you’re on our site then we considered you, especially where we’ve seen that you're doing something amazing. 

Who is doing the judging?

The shortlist and winners are chosen by our editorial panel, who between them boast 300 years of visiting independent schools up and down the country and across the globe. Our panel of Talk Education professionals comprises an experienced team of researchers and educational experts, former heads, teachers and advisors, all with their eyes and ears to the ground, constantly involved with schools changing and growing, and always at the forefront of what's new in the world of education. For those schools we haven't visited in person this year, we have done virtual visits; for those we haven’t virtually visited don’t worry, we know about you! 

The judges have selected the shortlist and finalists. If any judge has a conflict of interest with any particular school, they were not able to vote on the entry. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

How do I know I’ve won?

We have contacted all of our shortlisted schools personally to tell them the good news. We also sent them some social media artwork so that they could tell their followers and fans that their amazing work has been recognised by educational professionals with an in-depth knowledge of education and schools the world over. We also celebrated our winners on our social media channels and on our website.

How can I get advice or help on my entry?

Please email who will be more than happy to help.