Awards & Accolades

Barbara Priestman Academy has received the following accreditations in recognition of our provision for our young people and staff.  For more information about what these accreditations represent please follow the links below.

Inspiring IAG Quality Award

Barbara Priestman Academy has achieved the national Quality in Careers Standard for its careers education, information, advice and guidance provision. This is awarded by Inspiring IAG which is a Licensed Awarding Body for the national award..

The aim of the award is to:

1. Ensure young people get the support they need to make well informed, realistic decisions about their future through careers education, information, advice and guidance.

2. Have appropriate, up to date, accurate and impartial information and resources that all young people can access regardless of race, gender, religion, ability, disability, social background or sexual orientation.

3. Ensure the organisational policies relating to careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) are up to date and regularly reviewed and reflect this code of practice.

4. Empower young people by informing them of how they can access CEIAG to help them plan their future and make well informed, realistic

5. Provide young people from year 8 onwards access to impartial professionally qualified careers guidance and ensure formal regular assessment arrangements are carried out of the guidance practitioner, by appropriately qualified senior staff to determine ongoing competency.

6. Offer all young people access to impartial and independent careers guidance, at a time and place that suits their needs.

7. Ensure that all staff working with young people are offered and access ongoing training about qualifications/progression pathways and other relevant subjects and that there is a formal system in place to ensure the competency of all staff in delivering CEIAG.

8. Work in partnership, where appropriate, with opportunity providers including employers, FE and training providers, and youth support services.

9. Working with parents/carers to offer them information, advice and guidance to help them, help their son/daughter.

10. Involve young people in the design, delivery and evaluation of CEIAG programmes.

11.  Promote equality of opportunity, celebrating diversity, challenging stereotypes and raising aspirations.

Inspiring IAG

IAG Code of practice

National Autistic Society Accreditation (NAS)


The National Autistic Society Accreditation programme provides an autism-specific quality assurance programme for hundreds of organisations throughout the UK and across the world. By providing a unified standard of excellence and a systematic framework for continuous self-examination and development, NAS aim to continuously improve the quality of service provision for autistic people.

National Autistic Society


Teacher Learning Academy

The Teaching & Learning Academy is an innovative way of helping teachers and those working in support roles in schools/other educational settings to improve their practice and gain professional recognition for doing so.

The Teaching and Learning Academy is making a significant impact across the country through a unique combination of recognised and accredited activity that has been designed to improve professional practice for all staff.

Resized TLA logo

Investors In People

Since 1991 Investors in People has set the standard for better people management. Our internationally recognised accreditation is held by 14,000 organisations across the world. The Standard defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people well for sustainable results.

Certificate of AccreditationPrint

Investors In People

Based on 25 years of leading practice, the Investors in People Standard is underpinned by a rigorous assessment methodology and a framework which reflects the very latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry.

14-19 Gold Award

The 14-19 Gold Award quality assures the qualifications that we offer at Barbara Priestman Academy. It shows that we consistently achieve good results for students and enable other providers to confidently buy in to our services. We also use other providers for our qualification options through Sunderland Futures. This Quality Mark enables us to send students out of school knowing that they are accessing high quality teaching and learning.


Advanced Thinking Schools

Thinking Schools International (TSI) was established in 2010 and is a partnership between Kestrel Education in the UK and Designs for Thinking in the US.

tsi-logo-colorThe aim – to facilitate a whole school approach to the development of students’ thinking skills for organisations across the globe who are committed to develop 21st Century Learning.

To find out about what we do as a Thinking School, please click here


Achievement for All


Achievement for All 3As (AfA3As) is a national not-for-profit education charity that works with schools to make sustainable and positive change to the lives of children and young people.

The charity’s vision is “A world in which all children and young people can achieve regardless of their background, challenge or need”

The Achievement for All pilot (2009- 2011) was influential in the Support and Aspirations: a new approach to special educational needs and disability Green Paper
(DfE, 2011) that led to the 2014 Children and Families Act.

The AfA programme focusses on four areas of schools’ work: Leadership, Teaching and Learning, Wider Outcomes and Opportunities and Parental Engagement.

Quality Mark Award

Special Nomination

Why did Barbara Piestman choose to be part of the programme?

AFA has the same ethos and focus as our school -we want to maximise the potential of all of our young people, It is a nationally recognised programme highly thought of by the DFE and Ofsted.

AFA offers challenge to school leaders to continually improve the teaching and learning and pupil outcomes for their school. AFA and Barbara Priestman focus on working in partnership with parents for the benefit of all pupils

We want to be the best we can be and our work with AFA supports this aim.

What has been the impact of AFA on our school?

More effective working partnerships with parents/carers.

We have closer home/school liaison and strive to set targets that really matter to parents/ carers and the children. We regularly evaluate the progress towards the targets with you and discuss your concerns.

Better outcomes for students; Outcomes for pupils are improving and we are embedding the outcomes identified in Education, Health and Care Plans more successfully into the work we do at school.

When did we achieve the AFA Quality mark and what does it mean?

We applied and gained our AFA quality mark in May 2016.

The assessment was rigorous and evidence based and we had to show how we use the AFA to improve practice in our school.

The Quality mark shows that we are an outward looking school keen to learn from best practice elsewhere and that we are constantly challenging ourselves to be better

Our school was nominated for “Quality Mark of the Year” at the AfA Celebrating Every Child – 2017 Awards

What is next?

We are now working with our AFA coach to apply for Quality Lead school status.

This is another chance for us to review our practice across the board and to ensure that we continue our commitment to being an outstanding school and to work with and support other schools to improve their practice.

Why is being a Quality Lead AFA school something we are keen to achieve?

We value the work AFA does and what Quality Lead status says about our school (outward looking, committed to being the best we can be, keen to learn from others and to share our good practice with others).

It gives us another chance to gather the views of all stakeholders to inform our practice and plans in the future (what we do well but, more importantly, what can we improve?)

It will act as an audit to validate developments and show the added value this work brings to our school and pupils. We want to measure ourselves against the best and learn from the process.

It is a chance to continue to learn from a national organisation and their research and resources (all developed on their website using the Bubble).


Arts Council England believe every child should have the opportunity to create, compose, and perform, as well as to visit, experience, participate in and review extraordinary work. Awarded by Arts Council England, designed by schools and for schools, the new Artsmark award will help schools to deliver a high quality arts and cultural education and provides an excellent way to demonstrate this. We were awarded Artsmark Gold status, based on the old award, in October 2013 after a visit from an Artsmark assessor, who was very impressed by the standard of challenge offered to our students along with the quality of our arts provision.


We are currently working towards gaining Artsmark status based on the new award. A Statement of Commitment is required which is the key arts planning document that ties arts provision to overarching aims in our academy development plan. Once the Statement of Commitment is submitted, we then have two years to work towards our aims, before we must submit a case study to show our learning journey within the arts. Arts Council England will reflect on the Case Study evaluative report against the original Statement of Commitment to assess distance travelled, i.e. how well we have met our aims and the improvements that have been made, and will award a ‘level’ of Artsmark award which the academy can hold for two years before reapplying.


Barbara Priestman Academy has now been awarded Fairtrade School status!
This is now known as the Fair Achiever Award.

Fairtrade certificate

Thanks to all the hard work from staff, pupils and staff in the café and canteen.
We have learnt a lot about the importance of Fairtrade and we hope that staff, parents and pupils will help us by continuing to support this project.
You can do this by buying Fairtrade products in the café and also when you go to the supermarket each week.

“Did you know that Sainsburys only sells Fairtrade bananas?” They sell an incredible 650 million Fairtrade bananas a year.  – DP



Cyber Essentials


The Ascent Academies Trust takes cyber security extremely seriously.  We ensure that we obtain Cyber Essentials certification each year to demonstrate our commitment to keeping systems and data safe and secure from cyber threats. You can view our certificate here.