Children gathering around a table and doing experiments with bottles

Getting started with the World’s Best School Prizes

Is my school good enough to take part? What does it take to be the best school? How do I get started? What are the best schools and what do they stand for? Surely my school will never win a Best School global prize?

These are just a few of the questions and concerns we receive from schools when we invite them to enter the World’s Best School Prizes. But never fear. We’re with you every step of the way. These prizes were built for you. And we believe in YOU! 

Why every school can win

First, let’s address your concerns. This journey is not just for a select few; it’s for every school, in every corner of the world. Your unique context, your very circumstances, shape your school’s identity, making it one of a kind. The schools that embrace this context, that build a vibrant community around it, are the true trailblazers. It doesn’t matter how big or how well-resourced you are. 

Take for instance the schools that made it to the shortlists for the World’s Best School Prize for Innovation these past few years – they range from the prestigious Crimson Global Academy online school and Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto High School, to public schools that struggle with resourcing, like Emilia Lascar in Chile, SK Seri Permai in Malaysia, or Eveline High School in Zimbabwe. A perfect representation of schools all over the world. 

Our success in building a globally representative community of schools lies in our application process, a process truly open for all. We offer you far more than just a prize. We offer: 

  • An innovative framework, based on our five distinct Prizes, which all lead to school transformation. Designed to help you reflect on the five key areas vital to schools around the world, , identify your strengths and leverage them, but also improve upon them by benchmarking against our criteria.
  • A compass, a guiding light that helps you plot your priorities and craft strategic plans to conquer any challenges or objectives in those areas where you may feel you need to improve.
  • A gateway to a global learning community of like-minded educators embracing innovation and a mechanism to share your best practices and learn from others.
  • A range of resources from events, articles and video masterclasses to our Best School to Work programme to certify schools for their culture and help them transform their working environment so they can attract and retain the best teachers.

So, as you see, it’s far more than just applying for a prize. It’s a journey of reflection and assessment to recognise your achievements in the first place and then tell your story to the world. But that’s not all. This process will allow you to spot those areas where you still need to improve. So, why not apply?

Steps to build your application

Now, let’s light the fuse with some concrete recommendations to kickstart your journey:

  1. Gather your team: When you get a quiet moment,  gather your team, and let the sparks of creativity fly.
  2. Read our Framework: Familiarise yourself with the five Prizes and their judging criteria, fueling dynamic discussions within your staff about your school’s performance in each area. 
  3. Assess your school: Use the rating system we propose on our Application Guidance document to assess your performance for each separate Prize.
  4. Dive deeper: Focus on the five Prizes and their criteria. Look at the criteria where you’re strongest (where you feel you go from “Developing” to “Trailblazing” as per the indicators). Work out which areas tell your story best. Where you’re making magic happen. Then gather evidence and start visualising your application.
  5. Consult with others: Seek insights from a diverse set of stakeholders, including parents, students, and the community, amplifying your perspectives.
  6. Build your application: Once you’ve harnessed enough evidence and crafted your narrative, you’re ready to embark on the thrilling journey of building your application.

Start writing your application form

Once you have gone through the self-assessment process, you’re ready to build your application. Assign one person to be responsible for filling out the application: a teacher, a school administrator, or the head teacher or principal. That person will register on our Applications webpage, and will be able to access the form, and start filling it out.

Your school can apply for more than one Prize. Use the same account you created to submit various forms that belong to the same school. You won’t need to attach evidence materials; you’ll explain using the power of your words. You can write your answers in your own language.

Don’t hold back, take the risk! Join the transformational journey offered through the World’s Best School Prizes and take your school to the next level!