Entries are now open for the inaugural Milton Keynes Education Awards (MKEAs), founded by All Things Business to highlight and recognise the schools, teachers, teams and individuals that work so hard to make our children’s education the best it can be.
TV personality Eamonn Holmes will be the host for the awards ceremony, to be held at DoubleTree Hilton at Stadium MK on September 22. The headline sponsors are EasiPC and category sponsors include Kip McGrath, Arkle Finance, Neves Solicitors and E-Energy.
The launch of the MKEAs follows on from the success of the Northamptonshire Education Awards, which were were founded in 2019 to run alongside the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards, which had launched the previous year. Both awards have grown over time into leading events in the county’s awards calendar and have been awarded Outstanding by the Awards Trustmark scheme.
Until now, however, there has been nothing in Milton Keynes that really celebrated and acknowledged its superb education sector, so it seemed an obvious move to give the city its own dedicated awards event.
“As a company we have long championed the idea that ‘education needs business and business needs education’. The two go hand in hand; education has to prepare the workforce of tomorrow, while businesses need to support our schools and colleges to help them meet the needs of the modern world of work.
“Also, from a personal point of view, I know all too well how fantastic our schools and teachers are. My Mum was a schoolteacher for over 25 years and my childhood memories are of Mum preparing for lessons and marking work and doing lesson preparation in the evenings, at weekends and in the school holidays. Often, her work was combined with ‘extras’ – providing pupils who needed them with clothes or trainers that no longer fitted me or my brother – something I probably only understood the significance of as I got older.
“It probably took the pandemic for the nation to appreciate the hard work that educators do, and I use the word educators because non-teaching staff should also be acknowledged for playing a key role to complement the hard work of teachers.”
The Milton Keynes Education Awards will comprise 12 categories, including Primary School of the Year, Secondary School of the Year, School Business Manager of the Year, the Sports Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
All award entries will, in the first instance, be scored against set criteria and marked through a bespoke software-based scoring system before finalists are selected. The finalists will then be considered by our independent judges before the winner is selected and announced at the ceremony in September.
The independent judges for the inaugural awards are:
- Nicholas Mann, from marketing agency Interdirect, who promotes the city on a national and international basis and is the visionary of the Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards.
- Jason Sinclair, an experienced executive director and management consultant who has a particular interest in diversity and inclusion and all things education.
- Cllr Amanda Marlow, Mayor of Milton Keynes 2022/23, who has been a member of Milton Keynes City Council’s Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Committee and who is passionate about SEN provision in Early Years, schools and colleges.
Ben Thomas added:
“You’ve heard our ‘why’ now I’d encourage everyone to enter or nominate someone they know is making a difference in education. The awards are free to enter, and you can enter as many categories as you want. This is your chance to put your schools and colleagues forward for the recognition they deserve.”