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Heritage Education Trust & The Sandford Awards

The Heritage Education Trust is the leading light of historic house education, recognising and promoting good practice in learning services within the historic environment.

Recognition is made through the annual Sandford Awards for Heritage Education, which assesses the provision of quality education in and about historic sites, buildings, museums, galleries, cathedrals, places of worship, gardens, landscapes and historic artefacts.    Promotion is through advocacy and a network of good practice. The Trust seeks to encourage innovation, transferability and sustainability alongside fun and enjoyment in education programmes. 

In 1977 Lord Sandford as Minister of the Environment, instigated The Sandford Awards – to encourage schools to visit historic places. The Awards have run every year since and in 1983 the HHA, English Heritage and the National Trust joined him to establish the Heritage Education Trust to administer the Awards and to promote and encourage education within the historic environment.   Michael Saunders Watson, the President of the HHA went on to chair the Heritage Education Trust until he retired in 1998.   

The Historic Houses Association has continued to support the Heritage Education Trust both by providing financial support over the years and by promotion to its members. The Trust and its personnel work closely with the Association.