Finalists announced for Church School Awards 2011

Twelve regional finalists have been announced for the first annual Church School Awards. The awards will be presented at the Church School Awards Gala on 24 March.

Schools from across England and Wales were judged on how they foster strong community relations, both locally and nationally. More than 350 schools took part and the finalists were chosen from a shortlist of more than 100 schools. They are:
St Alban's Catholic Primary school, Gateshead
St Aidan's CE High School, Harrogate
Bishop Bridgeman CE Primary School, Bolton
St Cuthbert's Catholic Community College for Business and Enterprise, Merseyside
Barwell CE Junior School, Leicester
Nottingham Emmanuel School
St Luke's CE Science & Sports College, Devon
St Chad's Patchway CE Primary School, South Gloucestershire
St Luke's CE Primary School, Canning Town
The Ursuline High School, Wimbledon
St Swithun's Catholic Primary School, Portsmouth
The Piggott School, Twyford

Regional prizes will be awarded at both primary and secondary level, with overall national winners for both levels drawn from these regional winners. The Gala will take place at Westminster Cathedral Hall, starting with lunch at 12pm. Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Schools, will present prizes.

Schools were asked to describe what nurturing global citizenship and fostering community cohesion mean to them, and how these principles are embedded in school life.

Lisa Nolan, Education Development and Improvement Officer for the Methodist Church, said: "We've been overwhelmed by the level of interest in the first ever Church School Awards. The standards have been very high and we look forward to celebrating educational excellence at the Gala in March."

Rob Gwynne, Head of School Development for the Church of England and Deputy General Secretary of the National Society said: "These awards will offer recognition to the many church schools that are making a huge difference in their communities and we're looking forward to expanding the awards next year."

The inaugural Church School Awards for inspiring citizens and transforming communities are sponsored by Emmaus, a recruitment agency specialising in supporting church schools to find teaching and leadership staff. Emmaus has agreed to sponsor the Awards again in 2012, when the awards will cover all of the UK.

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