Best Schools Awards


How do the Awards work?

The Awards entries open in early January 2024 across 13 categories. Any Independent school in the United Kingdom or the Channel Islands may put forward one school entry per category. Entries close at 3pm on 21st March 2024.

On 11th June 2024, five Highly Commended and five Finalist Schools per category will be announced and these schools will enter a second round of judging.

On 25th June 2024 the Winners of each category will be announced.

Who can enter the Awards?

All independent fee-paying schools in the United Kingdom or the Channel Islands are eligible to apply for the Awards.

Can I enter more than one Award category?

Yes. You can enter as many Awards categories as you like using a separate Entry form.

How will the Awards be judged?

Our expert panel of judges are leaders in their fields. The judges will take on specific categories based on their experience and particular interests. There are several categories that are split into separate Senior School and Prep School submissions, based on fairness of judging like-for-like – in these instances there will be winners in both Senior and Prep school categories. Simply select the most appropriate button for your submission. If eligible, a school can enter both Prep and Senior levels and each entry will need to be submitted on a different entry form and paid for separately (unless a school is using their ‘one free entry’ credit for one of the entries.) The judges will select the Highly Commended schools, Finalists and Winners. Their decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

When will the winners be announced?

  • Highly Commended & Finalists schools will be announced on 11th June 2024
  • Winners will be announced on 25th June 2024
  • No correspondence will be entered into.

What sort of evidence do I need to provide to support an application and how should I submit it?

Entries are asked to complete the online Entry Form and upload it as a pdf onto the Entry Submission page of the website. Supporting evidence to be included in the form could be (but not limited to): photos, video content, evaluations, testimonials, newspaper cuttings and inspection reports, etc. Any additional supplementary information may be sent by post to: Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Awards, Manor Courtyard, Aston Sandford, Buckinghamshire HP17 8JB.

Will there be publicity about the winners?

Yes. Muddy Stilettos will promote the stories of the winning schools across our website and social platforms to its 3.8 million users, to celebrate the successes of the independent school sector and their impact on the wider community. We will also send out a press release to media outlets notifying them of the winners. Schools will be asked to provide permission to use their Entry Form application information as well as publicity images when they submit their entries. If you do not want us to use your stories or imagery you must inform us at the time of submitting your applications.

How much does it cost to enter?

The first category submission of the Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Awards is FREE to enter for each school, and thereafter, each further submission is charged at £65 per category.

  • First category entry: Free
  • All further category entries: £65 each
  • There is one free entry per whole school – schools with, for example, Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior departments are therefore entitled to a single free entry, not three.
  • Entries must be paid at time of submission before 3pm 21st March 2023.

What do I win?

We want to support, promote and celebrate the best independent schools in the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands. The Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Awards 2024 winners will receive:

  • A Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Award Plaque
  • A Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Awards website digital rosette for all winners in recognition of their success
  • Awards-related publicity on Muddy Stilettos for all winners

Can I get more information on the awards and advice on how to apply?

Yes. If you have any queries please email us at

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