Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching 2024

The Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is a prestigious award presented to teachers in NSW government schools. The award recognises the achievements of outstanding teachers in delivering high quality education to students and their contributions to their professional communities.

Who can be nominated?

For a nominee to be eligible for the award, they must be:

  • Current Early Childhood, Primary, or Secondary school teachers in NSW government preschools or schools
  • Eligible employees includes casual, temporary staff and contractors who will still be employed by the Department of Education when the awards ceremony is held.
  • Current employees who will not retire or otherwise leave the service before the end of 2024.
  • Nominations may be accepted for “Early Career” teachers. (Early career teachers are defined as teachers in their first three years of teaching)

What are the selection criteria?

Nominations should be able to demonstrate excellence in teaching practice or broader school initiatives. The nominee will have made a significant and measurable contribution to improved student outcomes in learning for students and must demonstrate they deliver beyond the Standards for a proficient teacher listed across the three domains of teaching in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, listed below:

  • Professional Knowledge (max 200 words)
    1. Know their students and how they learn
    2. Know the content and how to teach it
  • Professional Practice (max 200 words)
    1. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
    2. Create and maintain safe and supportive learning environments
    3. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
  • Professional Engagement (max 150 words)
    1. Be engaged professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community

Teacher nominees are encouraged to refer to the focus areas and descriptors in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in preparing their professional statement.

Information on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers can be found at 

How many awards are made each year?

Up to 20 awards may be presented each year, including 1 award specifically for an early childhood teacher. The selection committee reserves the right to award fewer than 20 awards if nomination quality is not sufficiently high, or if applicants do not provide adequate evidence of achievements and outcomes.

A school may submit a maximum of 2 nominations per year for this award.

Who selects the recipients?

The selection panel will include representatives from the NSW Department of Education, the Public Education Foundation and other representatives from the education sector. All nominations will be reviewed according to the criteria set out.

How to nominate?

All nominations for the Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards are submitted via the Public Education Foundation’s online application system – PEFApply.

Nominator – an individual who has knowledge of the nominee’s professional work and can provide details of how the nominee delivers beyond the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Referee – either the Deputy Principal, Principal or Director, Educational Leadership (DEL).

Endorser – All nominations must be endorsed by the school Principal (or Director, Educational Leadership {DEL} in the case of a DP or teaching Principal nomination}.  The Principal/DEL is also asked to provide a citation to be used in the Awards program should the nomination be successful.

The reference must be provided by a person who is not the nominator OR the endorser of the nomination.

Please note – due to the high number of nominations received, no additional attachments will be considered during nomination reviews by the Selection Panel.

Does the nominee know they are nominated?

Yes.  Nominees are required to agree to their nomination and provide responses to specific criteria on how they deliver beyond the seven Standards in the Australia Professional Standards for Teachers

Submitting a nomination:

To access the application system use this link – PEFApply – then click on the relevant award.

Prior to starting the online process, the nominator may prefer to gather the necessary information ready to submit:

  • Nominee and school details (including phone numbers, emails and nominee’s DoE serial number)
  • Nominator’s statement supporting the teacher’s achievements (completed online)
    • Describe the nominees achievements within the context of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (max 200 words)
    • Please give an example of how the nominee initiated or contributed to improvements in student learning, achieved through identifying needs and applying highly effective practices to address the identified need/s. (max 200 words)
    • Explain how the nominee is actively involved in collaborating and sharing knowledge with colleagues with a strong commitment to learning from others. (max 200 words)
  • Nominee’s professional statement detailing how they deliver beyond the Standards for a proficient teacher (completed online)
    • Professional knowledge (max 200 words)
    • Professional Practice (max 200 words)
    • Professional Engagement (max 150 words)
  • A reference from the nominees Deputy Principal or DEL confirming the nominees commitment to delivering high quality education to students and their contributions to their professional community (uploaded pdf – maximum 300 words) Note – if the nominee is the DP, the reference should be provided by the Principal and the endorsement and citation provided by the DEL. Where the nomination is for a teaching Principal, the reference can be from the DP or another Principal, with the endorsement and citation provided by the DEL.
  • A photograph of the nominee (preferably head shot only – to be used in the Awards program should the nomination be successful)
  • Principal/DEL endorsement and citation (the nominator must initiate a request via the online nomination to the Principal/DEL. This will result in an email being sent to the Principal/DEL requesting them to endorse the nomination, and provide a 100 word citation online).

When is the closing date for nominations?

Nominations close at 11.59pm on Tuesday 14th May 2024. No late nominations will be considered.

When are the Awards announced?

Nominators will be advised of the outcome of their nominations in early July 2024.

Winners of the Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards for Excellence will be officially announced at the Public Education Awards event, to be held at the Sydney Town Hall on Monday 5th August 2024.

For further information including terms and conditions

Call the Public Education Foundation on 02 7814 2806 or email us at