STAFF from Tamworth Castle have been officially presented with a prestigious national award for their outstanding education workshops for children – alongside world-renowned museums including Stonehenge and the Tower of London.
In July this year, the Castle team received the news that they had been accredited with the Sandford Award for the third time, following an in-depth inspection.
The Sandford Award is given to reward excellence in heritage and historic properties where special provision has been made for educational visits by children of school age.
Tamworth Castle first received the award in 2007 and again in 2011. Now it is celebrating a hat-trick after its education programme once again gained the award. This time, the assessor, Eric Steed, said he felt that the Castle was worthy of commendation by the scheme.
Judges visited the Castle earlier this year, where they observed the Education & Events team leading workshops on Saxon life for primary school children. The team was praised for delivering the programme in ways that engage, inform and inspire the children.
They said: “Tamworth Castle receives its third, very well deserved, Sandford Award. The staff has retained high standards, continuing to attract school parties because teachers know that an interesting day will be provided. Equally, visiting members of the public are guaranteed a fascinating insight into the history of Tamworth, the development of the castle and of the personalities who lived here.
“The guides are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and friendly, with the commendable ability to express their enthusiasm in an understandable manner.”
Tamworth Castle was in impressive company as it was one of 42 historic properties to receive the Sandford Award this year. Other recipients included Kensington Palace, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stonehenge and the Tower of London.
The presentation was made in the beautiful surroundings of Worcester Cathedral, where Castle staff Linda Baker, Claire Lacey, Margaret Wright and Richard Pearshouse received it from Professor David Rae from Bishop Grosseteste University.
Tamworth Castle will retain the Sandford Award accreditation for five years, after which it will be re-inspected.
Each year the castle attracts more than 10,000 school children who take part in a wide range of workshops including Saxons at the castle, Victorians, Tudor life and civil war across the ages.
Cllr Joy Goodall, Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “This award is a very well-deserved testament to the hard work, knowledge and dedication of the Education & Events staff at the Castle.
“When you see the list of the recipients of this year’s Sandford Award includes Stonehenge and the Tower of London, it shows the incredibly high standard which has to be achieved.
“We are all incredibly proud of Tamworth Castle – it is great news that it has received this prestigious Sandford Award for the third time.”