12 September 2011

Church schools get chance to shine in second annual national awards

Church schools across the whole country are being invited to showcase how they help foster strong community relations with the launch of the second annual Church School Awards.

Schools will be asked to describe what nurturing global citizenship and fostering community cohesion means to their school, and how these are embedded in school life. Regional prizes will be awarded at primary and secondary level, with overall national winners for both drawn from regional winners.

The Awards will be presented at a special ceremony in London next March, demonstrating how Christian schools lead the way in building communities locally, nationally and internationally. Recently published research on Ofsted data showed that secondary schools with a religious foundation contribute 'significantly and substantially' more to the promotion of community cohesion and the provision of equality of opportunity for students than other types of school.

Education Minister Lord Hill, who presented the first ever awards at the 2011 Gala, said: "Church schools make an important contribution to education in this country - not only in achieving good exam results, but also in nurturing young people to become real ambassadors for the ethos of their schools. Thanks to the Church School Awards, we are able to celebrate this and see the links they have established in volunteering in local communities, fundraising for countries hit by disaster and building relationships with pupils around the world."

Schools from all over the UK, including, for the first time, Scotland and Northern Ireland, are encouraged to apply by the deadline of 4 November 2011 for a chance to win some great prizes and to tell other schools about their experiences. More information about the 2011 winners and how to apply for the 2012 awards can be found at www.churchschoolawards.com

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