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First Commonwealth teaching excellence prizes.

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Media Release


"Well-qualified, caring and dedicated teachers are the key to a quality education and I am proud to celebrate the achievements of some of Australia’s most outstanding teachers," the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp said today.

Dr Kemp was speaking in Melbourne at the presentation of the inaugural Commonwealth Australian Teachers’ Prize for Excellence. The awards form part of the Teachers for the 21st Century initiative and recognise the vital role of teachers in imparting knowledge and skills to our young people.

The Commonwealth is offering prizes in 2001 and 2002 in collaboration with the National Excellence in Teaching Award (NeiTA) Foundation, which has been presenting awards since 1994.

"Education of the highest quality requires teachers of the highest quality, and today’s prize winners are outstanding examples of the sort of highly skilled and caring teachers who are helping to provide quality education in Australian schools," said Dr Kemp.

Dr Kemp presented the 27 outstanding primary and secondary teachers with the traditional NEiTA crystal apple, and new Commonwealth monetary prizes of $5,000 to be split between the teacher and the school.

Teachers for the 21st Century is an $80 million initiative designed to lift the quality of teaching through developing the skills of school leaders, supporting quality

school management and recognising and rewarding quality.

"As communities become more and more effective partners with schools, I find a growing realistic appreciation of the work of teachers in preparing young people to take their place in the adult world," said Dr Kemp .

"Teachers need and deserve strong support from effective school leaders, from their parent communities, and from governments in their vital role. They also need understanding from the unions who represent them in industrial negotiations that the profession will benefit from salary structures that genuinely and significantly reward performance and excellence," he said.

A list of the winners of the Commonwealth Australian Teachers Prize for Excellence is attached.

Media enquiries: Michael Fitzgerald 03 9650 0356 or  0412 472 111


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