Positive impact on school life

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In a new nationwide competition pupils and teachers in Horsham are being asked to come up with inspiring ideas to improve their school. The prize for winning schools is funding to help turn these ideas into reality.

The competition, called ‘The School We’d Like’, is being organised by the leading insurer of schools, Zurich Municipal, and The Guardian Teacher Network.

It is designed to encourage students and teachers to work together and develop one key idea that will improve quality of life in their school now.

It is open to all schools across Great Britain, and will be judged in three categories: Primary schools, Secondary schools and Special schools.

The prize – £5,000 for the winning school in each category – could make a big difference at a time when school budgets are more squeezed than ever before.

There are no barriers to the kinds of changes schools can suggest, but they should have a positive impact on school life. For one school this might mean new sports facilities to help find gold medallists of the future, or more books in the library. For others, the idea could be a chef-designed school breakfast menu, or an anti-bullying campaign.

Inspiration can come from anywhere and ultimately, it is up to the school community to choose the idea that would mean the most for their own school.

We know that teachers and pupils have some fantastic ideas about how to make their schools a better place in which to work and learn.

However today’s education environment is undergoing significant change and not all schools have sufficient funds to make the kinds of changes they’d like.

As well as innovative and inspirational ideas, our panel of judges will be looking for evidence that pupils have benefited from entering the awards, learning important skills like project management and collaborative working.

Regional semi-finals will be held in February 2013, with finalists asked to present to a panel of judges in March 2013. The closing date for entries December 17, 2012.

For terms and conditions, entry details and criteria, visit the Guardian Teacher Network:

www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/zurich-school-competition

PAUL TOMBS

Head of education at Zurich Municipal, Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7RT