The EAL excellence award

Diagram showing classification of award

About the award

Developed by the EMTAS Specialist Teacher Advisor team, the EAL Excellence Award is an online school self-evaluation framework for monitoring the impact of provision for pupils learning English as an additional Language (EAL) as well as the wider aspects of black and minority ethnic achievement.

The EAL Excellence Award covers five broad areas:

  • Leadership& Management
  • Pedagogy & Practice
  • Data, Assessment & Progress
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Parental & Community Engagement

The awarding process

Schools completing the award will need to choose from a set of level descriptors as well as detailing where the evidence can be found to support their awarding level.

Once completed, the submission should be printed and/or saved as a PDF and sent to your contact within the EMTAS team. Next, an EMTAS Specialist Teacher Advisor will be in contact in order to validate the school’s suggested award level (Bronze, Silver or Gold). Following a successful validation visit, schools will receive a certificate, valid for two years, as well as suggestions on ways to continue to develop and embed best practice for EAL learners and their families.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) Excellence Award (GRTXA)

The EMTAS GRT Excellence Award works in the same way as the EAL Excellence Award but has as its focus practice and provision in relation to GRT children and their families.

EMTAS Heritage Honours Award

Heritage Honours Award logoThis award aims to celebrate the achievements of children from BME, EAL and GRT backgrounds. Children and young people can be nominated for an award by the school they are currently attending.

Nominations can be for a variety of achievements including:

  • overcoming adversity
  • exceptional progress in acquiring EAL
  • first language achievements eg use of first language as a tool for learning, active involvement in the EMTAS first language pupil training program, storytelling, writing in L1, Heritage Language GCSEs etc.
  • promoting linguistic, religious and cultural awareness in school
  • significant contribution to high profile school initiatives such as Young Interpreters, School Council, Equality and Rights (EARA) work etc.
  • digital creations that showcase language/culture/religious experiences/interests
  • achievements beyond school related to linguistic, religious and cultural heritage

To find out more and to nominate a child for an award, visit the open access Heritage Honours pages on the EMTAS Moodle.


The reaction on the use of the EAL Excellence Award has been very positive.

The EAL Excellence Award has been a really useful tool to support our practice in ensuring the very best provision is embedded across our school for our EAL children. Staff feel confident that they are supported by helpful materials that enable accurate assessment of children's competency in English whilst supporting them in accessing a broad and balanced curriculum. The program covers aspects of leadership, attainment and parental engagement which helped myself as the EAL co-ordinator to self evaluate our current practice and provision.

Watch this short film, 'Practitioner views of the EMTAS EAL Excellence Award', to gain insights from colleagues in Hampshire schools who have gained accreditation through the award for their EAL practice and provision.

EMTAS Moodle Blog

To read our latest blog posts about the EAL Excellence Award, visit the EMTAS Moodle Blog and explore the tags 'excellence' and 'award'.

Also available is the EMTAS Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) Excellence Award for schools.


For more details, contact

Name: Sarah Coles