The Beaney in Canterbury has picked up its second Sandford Award in recognition of its excellent museum and gallery education work.
Sandford Awards, named after their founder Lord Sandford, are presented annually by the Heritage Education Trust to a small number of visitor attractions across the UK that meet the highest standards in heritage education.
In agreeing the award, the Trust’s judge, Irene Davis, summarised the Beaney’s qualities, saying: “Its full name, The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, sums it up. Its origins as a working men’s institute financed by a self-made man are still evident in its ethos of inviting all to come in.
“A room dedicated to community arts at the front door relates the building to local people. In this inclusive atmosphere the children of Canterbury and further afield are made welcome and learn to learn.”
The awards recognise quality and excellence in educational services and facilities. Successful organisations contribute to an understanding of the relevant local and national heritage, develop an educational programme through consultation with educational customers and advisors, and provide relevant educational resources and facilities that enhance the quality of the students’ visit.
Chairman of the city council’s Community Committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “Improving links with local schools has been a priority for our museums and galleries team. We are very pleased that we have worked with every primary school in the district over the last year – an increase from 13 schools to 36 in just 12 months.
“This award demonstrates the educational value in a visit to the Beaney. Our experienced and passionate staff are able to get the very best out of the children using the wide variety of exhibits on display, enriching and developing their learning, and it’s good to get external recognition of the quality of this work.”
The Beaney won its first Sandford Award in 2013, while the council’s other museum in Canterbury, the Roman Museum, also picked up the same award in 2015.