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Award Winning

Bryanston School, in Dorset, has won two prestigious national awards for its ground-breaking approach to the emotional health and wellbeing of pupils.  Working alongside local state schools in the Blandford Schools’ Network, Bryanston has been praised for leading by example with collaborative initiatives both within the school and in the wider education community.

Bryanston has received the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award in the 2023 Talk Education Awards for Innovation in Education.  Following this success, the school has also been recognised as the Mind/Mental Health Champion in the 2023 School House Awards, sponsored by the Independent Schools Examination Board. It is significant that both awards have been presented by respected parent-focused organisations keen to highlight the work of forward-thinking schools. While celebrating our recent achievements, we were delighted to have been shortlisted for the Independent School Parent magazine 2023 award for our work in EDIJ (Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Justice).

According to Ollie Nicholson, Bryanston’s EDI lead, the school’s approach has raised awareness and understanding on a wide range of sensitive topics. 

 “We were delighted to receive the first award.  But, to have success and independent recognition within two high profile national award programmes, in quick succession,  is wonderful news. It is a credit to the pupils and staff at the school, the wider Bryanston community and so many other schools in the area.”  

“It’s not just a case of having an effective, supportive and agile approach to pupil wellbeing and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ).  We believe it’s just as important for schools to engage, empower and enthuse pupils, staff and parents on such sensitive and often emotive topics.  That’s why we have tried to break with convention and develop a truly collaborative and inclusive approach that goes beyond our own school. 

“Our partnership with Bold Voices, a social enterprise that helps young people to challenge and address the root causes of gender inequality and gender-based violence enabled us to go the extra mile.” 

The judges for the Talk Education Awards praised Bryanston’s “brilliant work forging ahead with innovative ideas to raise awareness and drive new ideas in the area of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” 

Dr Emeka Okorocha, a NHS doctor and judge for the School House Awards, was also won over by Bryanston’s innovative and collaborative approach to the emotional health and wellbeing of pupils.  “I was particularly struck by the school’s tutor/buddy stem, its work alongside health professionals and its commitment to take full account of direct feedback from staff, parents and the pupils themselves.”

A prominent initiative within Bryanston’s programme has been the development of a Nurturing Equality Festival. Building on its ongoing work with Bold Voices and in the spirit of inclusion championed by the school’s pupil-led Equality Committee, Bryanston approached neighbouring schools within the Blandford Schools’ Network with the idea of a collaborative pupil-led programme. This culminated with a festival where sixth-form ambassadors help pupils from local primary schools learn how to recognise and challenge issues that fuel gender inequality. 

The initial success prompted an even larger festival earlier this year, with 28 sixth-form ambassadors from Bryanston and the Blandford School leading activities and discussion groups for 75 pupils from nine local primary schools.  The Nurturing Equality Festival is now expected to become an annual fixture in the local education calendar and current Bryanston sixth-formers are working with staff and Bold Voices to develop new initiatives to build on the positive impact of the programme.