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Ashford School shortlisted for 2021 Tes Independent School Award

Date Posted: Monday 29 March 2021

We are honoured to announce that Ashford School has been shortlisted for the Student Initiative of the Year category in the 2021 TES Independent School Awards.

These prestigious Awards are held annually by TES (Times Educational Supplement) and recongise the accomplishments of the very best Independent Schools in the UK.  They seek to applaud excellence and reward innovation.  To be shortlisted is an accolade in itself, and we look forward to the announcement of winner at the end of April.

Ashford School’s submission was centred around the ingenious work of one of our Year 9 students, Bo.  Bo recently entered and won first place in the Cadet Designers competition, organised by Bompas & Parr and the Red Cross in affiliation with the Design Museum.

Participants were invited to submit their designs for a future vision of sanitiser pumps and hygiene innovation.   Bo submitted two concepts:   the Sanitiser HANDle and the Sanitiser Wall.

"This was an idea that I can see making a real social impact if it could be adopted in offices or schools. Bee Wilson"

For the HANDle, Bo’s idea came from the fact that door handles are a part of everyday life and are touched by many people, making them potentially a spreader of Covid. Her thought was to combine two actions that are performed when in public spaces, hence the concept of a handle that dispenses sanitiser when people use it.

The Sanitiser Wall concept was conceived while Bo was looking at the list of ingredients on the back of an aloe vera hand sanitiser at home. It led her to think that if certain plants were combined together, it could become a 100% plant-based product, something that could be installed in public in the same method as a vertical garden. People could then run their hands through the plants’ leaves and sanitise their hands naturally.

One of the judges, Bee Wilson commented: “I found this deceptively simple idea absolutely inspired. In normal life, door handles are objects that potentially spread germs because they are touched by so many people – so I loved the idea of flipping this around and turning them into an object that can dispense hand sanitiser.”

Her winning designs are currently being exhibited at Haw Par Music in Hong Kong and the Design Museum in London also exhibited her designs last year.  The Sanitiser Wall idea is currently being explored by Ericsson to use at their headquarters in Hong Kong!