Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching 2021

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 teachers in NSW government preschools or schools (this includes but is not limited to school principals, members of the school executive).
  • Current employees who will not retire or otherwise leave the service before the end of 2021.
  • 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?

The nominee must complete an online statement, which demonstrates with evidence how he/she delivers beyond the seven Standards listed across the three domains of teaching in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, namely:

  • Professional Knowledge (max 150 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 in professional learning
    2. 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

Nominator – an individual who has knowledge of the nominee’s professional work – must provide a statement of up to 200 words detailing how well the achievements of the nominee demonstrate outstanding teaching within the context of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

All nominations must be endorsed by the school Principal/Line Manager.  The Principal/Line Manager is also asked to provide a citation to be used in the Awards program should the nomination be successful.

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

How to nominate?

All nominations for this award are accepted by the Public Education Foundation’s online application system. To access this system visit and 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 (200 words max in pdf format addressing their achievements within the context of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers)
  • Nominee’s professional statement (completed online – not as an attachment)
  • A photograph of the nominee (preferably head shot only)
  • Principal/Line Manager endorsement and citation (the nominator must initiate a request via the online nomination to the Principal/Line Manager. This will result in an email being sent to the Principal/Line Manager requesting them to endorse the nomination, and provide a 100 word citation online)

Who selects the recipients?

It is anticipated that the selection panel will include representatives from the NSW Department of Education, the Public Education Foundation and an independent representative from the education sector. All applicants will be reviewed according to the criteria set out. Recommended nominees will then be presented to the Minister for award selection.

How many awards are made each year?

Up to 55 awards may be presented each year. A school may submit a maximum of 2 nominations per year for this award. The selection committee reserves the right to award fewer than 55 awards if application quality is not sufficiently high, or if applicants do not provide adequate evidence of achievements and outcomes.

When is the closing date for applications?

Applications close at 11.59pm on Tuesday 15th June 2021.  No late applications will be considered.

For further information including terms and conditions

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

We also encourage you to visit our website

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