Celebrating the best in the independent school sector

Wednesday 09 October 2019

The i25 recognises the independent sector’s leading influencers and innovators who have made an impact in some way: the top 25. The innovation or influence should have captured the imagination of others, changed their behaviours, improved pedagogy or school management processes, and had a measurable positive impact on children and/or independent education in the UK and, ideally, be replicable in other schools. The headline sponsor is SIMS Independent.

Applications are NOW OPEN and close on October 18 at midnight.

The shortlist of the 25 will be announced in early December on social media and the January 2020 edition of Independent Insight.

The 25 will be invited to a gala dinner in March 2019 at the Waldorf and can invite three other guests (say, partner, plus bursar/head and chair of governors). On arrival, they are presented with an insignia badge which they wear on their lapel or dress.

Apart from the 25 and their guests, judges and sponsors, VIPs from the sector associations will also be invited which, in all, will total around 150-160 people, which makes networking much easier.

The evening:

The evening begins as one would expect: firstly, there is a drinks reception, then guests are called through to the dining area. The evening proper is introduced with congratulations to the 25 plus a brief description of how the event will proceed, and with thanks to the sponsors and judges.

After the main course, two things happen: all of the 25 are introduced on screen by a presenter, giving details of why they have been nominated along with comments on their successes (30-40 seconds maximum per individual, to keep the evening moving along); meanwhile the 25 are taken to the drinks area where they vote on individual tablets for their top five from a list of the other 24. (Prior to the event, the 25 will have received information on the other 24 so that they can familiarise themselves with their peers’ work.) They then return to the main dining room as sweets and coffees are served. During this period the votes are collated automatically via iPads.

Then, from the stage, places 2-5 are announced as joint finalists and are awarded trophies and are photographed with sponsors, then a longer video is shown to share their work. Then the overall winner is announced, given a trophy by the headline sponsor and invited to make a short speech of thanks. Then all 25 are invited to the stage for a final photograph and to receive applause from the other guests.

The results will be published in the April 2020 edition of Independent Insight and shared widely with other relevant media and on social media.

It is important that the successes of those recognised on the evening are celebrated throughout the sector so that other schools can share from their good work. Primarily, this is done through a free ebook and videos:

Ebook: https://iexcellence.co.uk/iex_ebook/index.html?page=1

Video links: https://iexcellence.co.uk/the-shortlist-of-25

Photos: https://charleshendersonphotography.pixieset.com/g/i25awards

Website: www.i25awards.co.uk