Nominations open for 2014 Victorian Education Excellence Awards

For the first time parents and students are being encouraged to join the search for the state’s best teachers, principals and other school staff.

Visiting Robert McCubbins Primary School today to welcome new and returning teachers to the first day of the 2014 school year, Minister Responsible for the Teaching Profession Peter Hall announced the opening of nominations for the 2014 Victorian Education Excellence Awards.

The awards recognise outstanding government school primary and secondary teachers and principals, school support staff including business managers, and early childhood teachers.  Winners across the 14 categories receive grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 for professional learning or research.

Mr Hall said the awards showcase the remarkable people inside our government schools who are leading the way from good schools to great schools by bringing out the very best in our students.

“The State Government is committed to strengthening the teaching profession as outlined in the New Directions policy to ensure we attract, keep and continue to invest in the development of our highly skilled teachers, leaders and principals,” Mr Hall said.

“We celebrate teaching excellence to showcase what works well, and to encourage and promote successful approaches to learning.

Minister for Education Martin Dixon encouraged all Victorians – including teachers, parents and students – to nominate somebody for the awards, which are presented during a gala evening on 16 May.

“The school environment is an integral part of the local community so I am delighted to invite parents and students who know the teachers and school staff, who engage with them every day, to nominate someone they believe is an exceptional educator,” Mr Dixon said.

“It is the dedication and passion of people working in our schools that inspire young minds to explore new possibilities, to set ambitious goals, and to prepare for new and exciting learning experiences.”

Last year’s winner of the Secondary Teacher of the Year award, Britt Gow, has recently returned from a trip to Singapore where she visited schools benefitting from blended learning approaches and also investigated the factors that contribute to effective student learning outcomes. She wants to compare the findings from these investigations to the experiences of students and teachers in Victoria who have used blended learning environments in secondary schools.

Also acknowledged at the 2013 awards was Amanda Purcell, who used technology so that 28 deaf teenagers at Forest Hill College could achieve their best in a totally inclusive learning environment.

Visit www.education.vic.gov.au/veea for more information and to nominate.

Applications close on Friday 28 February 2014.

For further information, please contact the awards coordinator on 9637 3879 or email excellence.awards@edumail.vic.gov.au.