Winners of BSA Awards 2021 announced

Posted: 5th May 2021

The Boarding Schools’ Association has announced the winners of its annual awards. BSA unveiled the winners at its Annual Conference for Heads, sponsored by Schoolblazer, which took place virtually on May 4-5.

First held in 2018, the BSA Awards celebrate the achievements, hard work, and dedication of schools and individuals to boarding. This year’s awards, which were sponsored by Engage, were the biggest yet, with two new categories being introduced: International School of the Year Award and Outstanding INDEX (Inclusion and Diversity Excellence) Leadership Award. It was also a record year for entries, with close to 200 submissions received.

Highlights of this year’s awards included the winner of this year’s Stephen Winkley Award, Wendy Lang from King William’s College on the Isle of Man. Wendy was nominated for her tireless efforts in supporting students at the college throughout the coronavirus pandemic, which originally saw the Isle of Man close its borders to stop entry to the island. Hailing her as ‘a credit to her school and the boarding sector’, the judges said Wendy ‘did what committed, professional boarding staff do best in a crisis: stayed calm and carried on.’

The longest-running BSA Award, the Stephen Winkley Award is named in honour of the former BSA Chair (2003), and Headmaster of Uppingham (1991-2006) and Rossall Schools (2008-2013).

BSA also handed out a very special award, the Khadija Saye Photography Award, named in honour of the former Rugby School boarding pupil and respected international photographer, who tragically died in the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. The award went to Luca Vasile-Berde, a student at Rochester Independent College. Luca impressed the judges with his collection of images titled ‘Brighton Murder Mystery’, a selection of cinematic images of places around Brighton, imagining a narrative that would be fitting for a Woody Allen film. Calling it ‘an attention-grabbing concept’ the judges praised the ‘filmic quality’ of Luca’s shots as well as their ‘sense of brooding mystery and ‘excellent technical details.’

Robin Fletcher, CEO of the Boarding Schools’ Association and BSA Group, said: “Each year, our annual awards remind us of all the incredible work that is done every day by boarding schools and their staff, and their amazing devotion to supporting boarders. These awards highlight everything that makes boarding so special and it’s a pleasure to be able to recognise the achievements and dedication of schools and individuals in boarding.

“This was our busiest year yet in terms of submissions and it was certainly a very tough task for all of the judges to pick out the overall winners. On behalf of the BSA team, I’d like to say well done to all of the winners and finalists, and many thanks to everyone who took the time to send us their submissions. And a big thank you also to our sponsors, Engage, for supporting this year’s awards.”

In addition, the BSA also unveiled the winner of this year’s BSA Boarding Research Fellowship Award. Launched in 2016, it gives an experienced senior member of the boarding community the opportunity to undertake a unique research opportunity. This year’s winner is Carla Shearman, Head of Boarding at Queen’s College, Taunton, for her proposed research on Induction. Carla will visit three boarding schools of her choice and collate her data in a research project, analysing the different schools and their boarding provisions. She will be invited to present her findings at BSA’s Annual Boarding Conference in early 2022.

Please see below a full list of the winners and highly commended finalists from this year’s BSA Awards, sponsored by Engage:

Best Community work via BSA ‘On Board’ initiative award

WINNER: Monkton Combe School

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Rendcomb College; Gordon’s School

Boarding House Extension or Refurbishment Award

WINNER: Ipswich High School

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Summer Fields, Oxford; Sedbergh School

Boarding Innovation Award

WINNER: Marlborough College, Malaysia


Boarding Research Award

WINNER: Alex Large – The Royal School Wolverhampton

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Marlborough College, Malaysia; Bedford School; Sherborne Girls

Wellbeing & Mental Health Initiative Award

WINNER: DLD College London

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Dulwich Prep Cranbrook; Marlborough College Malaysia; Sherborne Girls

Supporting Junior Boarders Award

WINNER: Godstowe Preparatory School

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sherborne Girls; Saint Ronan’s School

Supporting International Boarders Award

WINNER: Bede’s School

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Gordonstoun; Dollar Academy

International School of the Year Award

WINNER: Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ)

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sotogrande International School

Outstanding INDEX (Inclusion and Diversity Excellence) Leadership Award

WINNER: Jami Edwards-Clarke – Hurstpierpoint College

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Louise Fahey – Caterham School; Louise Wilson – Charterhouse

Working with Vulnerable Children Award

WINNER: Lord Wandsworth College

Khadija Saye Photography Award

WINNER: Luca Vasile-Berde – Rochester Independent College

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Xiao Wang – St Mary’s School, Cambridge; Yao Xiao – St Mary’s School, Cambridge

Stephen Winkley Award

WINNER: Wendy Lang – King William’s College

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Lindy Themistocleous – Barnard Castle School; Rebecca Brown – Sherborne Girls

BSA Boarding Research Fellowship Award

Carla Shearman, Head of Boarding, Queen’s College, Taunton

Categories: BSA News Uncategorised