2010-11 marked the first year of the Church School Awards. Schools with a religious character in England and Wales were invited to submit an application stating ways in which they contributed to the wider community, locally, nationally and internationally, together with an account of the work of the RE Department.
Over 300 schools submitted applications and Salesian School Chertsey was judged to be in the top 15 schools, one of two schools in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. Four representatives from Salesian received the award from Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Hill CBE, at a Gala Event on the afternoon of Thursday 24th March 2011. The event was held at Westminster Cathedral Hall, London, hosted by Blue Peter’s Andy Akinwolere.
Mr Lydon and Fr Ebrahim were accompanied by Megan O’Neill of Year 13 and Andrew Tobin of Year 8. The Church School Awards celebrate the best examples of local community work and global citizenship in England and Wales. Pupils, staff and parents from the national and regional winners all impressed the judges with their passion for community issues, like the environment, Fairtrade and local fundraising, as well as their active involvement in worldwide initiatives, encouraging respect for different cultures and a sense of justice. Salesian School demonstrates a passion across all these areas, exemplified for example by the Ashalayam Project, the support for the Princess Alice Hospice from students in Year 10 and the recent launch of Fairtrade in the school. Schools Minister Lord Hill said:
“I am delighted to congratulate the regional and national winners of the first ever Church Awards on their superb work. These schools have demonstrated their commitment to respecting and supporting other young people around the world as well as in their own local community.”