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Worcester Cathedral has won a Sandford Award for Heritage Education along with sites such as The Mary Rose Centre and Hampton Court Palace.

The Sandford Award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles. Recipients become a ‘kite mark’ for high quality education provision which is recognised by schools and other education institutions across the United Kingdom.

The citation, following an extensive application and assessment process reads

Worcester Cathedral deservedly receives its first, well-earned Sandford Award. Visiting children and adults alike are ensured of an interesting and stimulating visit that is authenticated by academic research. This is not a programme of study that is fixed in time but subject to new ideas carefully based on evaluation by a broad range of persons, with close attention to rolling historical, religious, and secular events that have taken place in and around the cathedral. Members of the well led education team each display the capacity to enthral and captivate their audience.

The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson Dean of Worcester said “ We are absolutely delighted with this recognition of the valuable work of the Education team including its volunteers and staff. A Sandford Award has much respect in the Heritage Learning world and we are now proud holders.”

The Cathedral Education Department has been running for 16 years and in that time has increased the number and range of schools and activities to well over 8000 children and students each year, who engage in curriculum based activities. In a few weeks’ time this will be show-cased to the Archbishop of Canterbury on his Diocesan visit when he will meet over 500 children from 50 schools.

The Sandford Award comes at a significant time in the development of the Cathedral Education Department as it is a fitting accolade to the work of Sue Adeney, retiring Cathedral Education Officer who has nurtured the department from its inception.

It will be a bench mark and motivator for Benjamin Smith, newly appointed Director of Education and Learning,as he takes this important support to schools and all learners onto a new exciting phase in its development. Mr Smith takes up the post from the beginning of the Autumn Term, having recently been Head of History at Edgbaston High School.

Mr Smith said “This new role represents an exciting opportunity to build on the highly successful work of the Educational Department and to ensure that the vibrant and multi-faceted learning opportunities offered by the Cathedral are enjoyed by as wide an audience as possible. I am keen to forge new links with both adults and young people, familiar and unfamiliar with the unique learning experiences offered by the Cathedral.”

For further information of Sandford Award