Church schools get chance to shine in second annual national awards

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

Schools will be asked to describe what nurturing global citizenshipand fostering community cohesion means to their school, and howthese are embedded in school life. Regional prizes will be awardedat primary and secondary level, with overall national winners forboth drawn from regional winners.

The Awards will be presented at a special ceremony in London nextMarch, demonstrating how Christian schools lead the way in buildingcommunities locally, nationally and internationally. Recentlypublished research on Ofsted data showed that secondary schoolswith a religious foundation contribute 'significantly andsubstantially' more to the promotion of community cohesion and theprovision of equality of opportunity for students than other typesof school.

Education Minister Lord Hill, who presented the first ever awardsat the 2011 Gala, said: "Church schools make an importantcontribution to education in this country - not only in achievinggood exam results, but also in nurturing young people to becomereal ambassadors for the ethos of their schools. Thanks to theChurch School Awards, we are able to celebrate this and see thelinks they have established in volunteering in local communities,fundraising for countries hit by disaster and buildingrelationships 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 thedeadline of 4 November 2011 for a chance to win some great prizesand to tell other schools about their experiences. More informationabout the 2011 winners and how to apply for the 2012 awards can befound at www.churchschoolawards.com.