Visitor Centre celebrates Sandford Award for Heritage Education

The new academic year at the King Richard III Visitor Centre has got underway with some great news for the learning team at the award-winning city centre attraction. 

Following two detailed assessments earlier in the year, the Visitor Centre has received a Sandford Award for Heritage Education. 

The Sandford Award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites across the British Isles and focuses on curriculum-linked education opportunities and resources offered to schools. 

The Visitor Centre submitted an application for this award in the spring, and judges visited to observe a school visit in action during the summer term. Judges were looking for an experience developed in consultation with educational professionals, that engages visitors, promotes the understanding of local and national heritage, demonstrates good management of education visits and quality educational resources and services, as well as providing good domestic facilities. 

On awarding the Visitor Centre, the Judges’ and Directors’ Panels commented: “The King Richard III Visitor Centre offers an assault on the senses and emotions that leaves pupils with a 

rewarding appreciation and respect for historians, archaeologists and scientists in bringing up to date the stories of real people concerning the life, death and discovery of an English King. 

“It is told through meaningful exhibits and interactive displays, which highlight the story of the accession and subsequent death in battle of Richard III, alongside a telling contrast to the achievements of those who led to the discovery and identification of his remains, poignantly, in the very place where he was interred and ‘lost’ for over 500 years.” 

Rachel Ayrton, Learning and Interpretation Manager at the Centre said: “We are delighted to receive this award which recognises all the hard work that has gone into building up our schools’ programme over the past two years. 

“We have an enthusiastic team at the Visitor Centre who make school groups feel welcome on a daily basis. We are also lucky to have the support of a generous group of teachers who give up their time to help advise us on the development of our schools’ programme. I hope everyone involved feels as pleased as I do at this award!” 

For more information on the Centre’s learning programme go to: or call 0116 229 4133