The Education Service at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life has been awarded the Sandford Award for Heritage Education for 2014. The Sandford Awards, administered by the Heritage Education Trust in conjunction with the Bishop Grossetest University, Lincoln, are an independent assessment of education programmes at museums and heritage sites across Britain and Ireland. This is the third time that the Museum of Country Life has garnered this prestigious prize, having received it in 2004 and again in 2009.
The dedication and professionalism of the staff is singled out for particular mention in the following extracts from the judges' report:
‘The engaging and dedicated learning team with a breadth of subject knowledge and experience together with the good relationships with other Museum departments all contribute to ensuring that learning programmes and delivery are of the highest standard.'
‘The relaxed and friendly welcome by the Learning team and their colleagues on Reception in the Museum set the positive tone for the school visit, which takes place with general visitors around throughout the time on site.'
‘It is reassuring to see such a commitment by the extant staff to make what is already a very good destination and educational offering even better in the current economic climate.'
In their citation, the judges also stated:
The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life offers learning programmes that continue to be very well developed and delivered in a sensitive way by a knowledgeable and talented team. Schools will benefit from a visit, as the story covers the history of life in rural Ireland from Victorian times, through the Famines and emigration to the present. It is a living history that educates and entertains.