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“Our education professionals work hard every day for our children, and I believe we need to publicly recognise and encourage their contribution,” Jonathan Young said.

“The Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards do just that.  They celebrate the people in our communities delivering the best teaching to children, those who raise the bar that bit higher.

“The awards cover early childhood education, primary, through to secondary schooling.”

The four main categories are excellence in governing, excellence in leading, excellence in teaching and learning, and excellence in engaging.  The category winners will receive $20,000, and the supreme winner will receive an additional $30,000.

This year the education focus prize celebrates a focus on collaboration creating learner-led pathways from early childhood to schooling.

“I want to encourage people to apply for these awards.  We have so many talented people in our area and I have witnessed this during visits to our local schools and early childhood centres.

“High-quality education provides the opportunity for any child from any background to get ahead and make the most of their life, and the teachers who contribute to this should be celebrated,” Young said.

Entry forms are available at www.pmawards.education.govt.nz.  Entries close on 20 March 2015.

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