What the Bristol Ideal Award is, what your school needs to do to achieve it and why we have the Bristol Ideal Award.

Improving safety and support for students, staff and families affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

About the Bristol Ideal Award

The Bristol Ideal Award is a set of standards for settings to follow to improve their approach to:

  • domestic abuse
  • sexual violence
  • healthy relationships

The award represents a commitment to safeguarding staff, students and preventing unhealthy behaviours in the next generation.

There is an emphasis on participation, and we want children and young people to take a leading role in delivering the Bristol Ideal Award in their settings.

The award was revised in 2022, with new criteria and a streamlined application process.

To update the award, we consulted with children and young people's participation groups. Their views and priorities have informed the new criteria.

The award has been informed by recent legislation, including Violence Against Women and Girls strategy, Ofsted 2021 Report, Domestic Abuse Act, and the response to murders of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.

The award criteria were also adapted with the 2021 Ofsted Report Guidance in mind.

What your school needs to do to achieve the award

You must make changes in your school to improve mental health and wellbeing. This could include:

  • changes to the school's physical environment
  • changes to the school's culture
  • updating relevant policies
  • making improvements to the curriculum
  • investing in leadership and training

You must complete the award within 1 year.

Use our online system to:

  • see the award criteria and guidance
  • tell us you're starting to work towards a specialist award
  • send us evidence of your work
  • track your progress
  • submit your finished work

Go to the online system

document Download the award criteria (383 KB) .

What the award covers

The award covers:

  • leadership
  • school culture
  • school environment
  • DA/SV services
  • staff and student wellbeing
  • safeguarding policies
  • participation

Guidance and resources

To help you to plan your answers and access resources, use our document guidance document (383 KB) .

This will help you make sense of what we are asking for and signpost you to helpful documents.

For example, we might ask you to review your learning resources, in this case, we have included links to relevant websites.