The annual Awards celebrate the outstanding work being done in schools and early learning services to support children and young people across the country.

“I am really pleased with the exceptional New Zealanders who have agreed to contribute to the judging process this year. Their time and commitment to reward the best in education is remarkable,” Mr Hipkins said.

“The panel members bring a wealth of experience and mana to the judging process, to assess the outstanding programmes in our early learning services, schools and kura.”

The Awards include four categories, the Supreme Award and an Education Focus Prize that changes focus every year.

The 2018 Education Focus Prize – Takatū Prize celebrates outstanding inclusive practices that enable all children and young people with additional learning needs to succeed.

The Awards are judged in a two-step process. Up to 20 finalists will be selected by a group of education experts, with those entries then viewed by the judging panel before the panel decides each of the category winners.

Winners will receive $20,000 and funding for a professional development opportunity. The supreme award winner will receive an additional $30,000 and an opportunity to represent New Zealand education in an international forum.

“I want to encourage every education service from early learning to senior schools to enter the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards this year. The Awards provide an excellent opportunity to showcase best practice across the sector and to celebrate great achievements in improving outcomes for children and young people”, Mr Hipkins said.

Entries close 5.00pm on Friday 23 March 2018. Winners will be announced at a ceremony later this year.

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