The work of schools and early learning services supporting children with additional learning needs will be celebrated as part of the 2018 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, says Education Minister Nikki Kaye.

“I’m delighted to announce that entries for the Awards open on Monday 11 September,” says Ms Kaye.

“I’m also really pleased to say that the 2018 Education Focus Prize, Takatū Prize, will celebrate outstanding inclusive practices that enable all children and young people with additional learning needs to succeed.”

Now in their fifth year, the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are about recognising and celebrating the fantastic work being done in schools and early learning services across the country to support children and young people to achieve their very best.

“The entries over the past four years have shown what a big difference excellent teachers, principals, boards of trustees and others have, not only on the children and young people in their classrooms but also on the wider community,” says Ms Kaye.



The awards cover early childhood education, primary and secondary schooling, as well as Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

The four main categories are:

  • Excellence in Engaging – Atahāpara Award: This award celebrates working together as a community to transform relationships and achievement, leading to improved and sustained outcomes for all children and young people.
  • Excellence in Leading – Atakura Award: This award celebrates leadership and influence that have strengthened professional capability and created a change in conditions, leading to improved and sustained outcomes for all children and young people.
  • Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Atatū Award: This award celebrates teaching that transforms the learning of all children and young people, and achieves improved and sustained outcomes for them all.
  • Excellence in Governing – Awatea Award: This award celebrates governance and management that create the conditions for leading and teaching that improve and sustain outcomes for all children and young people.

The winning entry in each category receives $20,000 and a professional development opportunity. The four category winners will be eligible for the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award, which will go to the partnership or group that has had the most impact on raising student achievement. The winner of the Supreme Award receives an additional $30,000.

A further prize is awarded each year focusing on a different part of the education system, with the 2018 Education Focus Prize, Takatū Prize, celebrating outstanding, inclusive practices that enable all children and young people with additional learning needs to succeed.

“I know there is great work taking place across New Zealand in all the areas covered by these awards,” says Ms Kaye.

“The finalists and winners of these awards come from a wide range of communities and from across the education system. Previous winners include a Kōhanga Reo, Puna Reo, kindergarten, early childhood education centres, primary, intermediate and secondary schools, a teen parenting unit, a health school and a trades academy.

“This year we have made it easier to be considered for multiple categories and I really hope that everyone will consider giving it a go, and put in an entry for the 2018 awards.

“I’d like all parents, board members, teachers, principals and students to suggest to their school or early learning service that this is their year to enter.

“We have so many positive stories to tell across education and this is just one of the ways of celebrating the immense dedication, determination and excellence of those involved in education.”

Entries open on Monday 11 September 2017 and close on Friday 23 March 2018. Entry forms and information will be available at pmawards.education.govt.nz

Finalists will be announced in May 2018 and a national awards ceremony will be held in Christchurch in June.

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