Are the awards free to enter?

Yes! Our awards are completely free of charge to enter.

Who can enter?

  • Early Years – All teams working in any early years setting educating children from birth to five, or Foundation Stages 1 and 2
  • Schools – Teaching staff, headteachers, teaching assistants. Any member of support staff can also be entered into our Unsung Hero category
  • Colleges – FE Lecturers and FE teaching teams
  • There are also 2 whole school awards – Making a Difference -Primary / Secondary School of the Year
  • The Award for Impact through Partnership is for teams that are driven by their collaboration with other educational settings or external organisations for positive impact on children aged 4-18
  • The Award for Unsung Hero is open to anyone working in an Early Years, school or FE college setting
  • We accept entries from settings in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • We do not currently accept entries from online schools but this is under review for future years

Who can submit an entry? 

  • Entries can be submitted by staff working in the same setting as their nominee. Additionally, stakeholders working closely with a nominee can also enter – for example, a colleague working in a MAT head office, external stakeholders such as Governors, local authorities, home-school link workers, and in the case of the impact through partnership category, a member of a project team that is working in collaboration with the education setting.
  • A member of the nominee’s senior leadership team must be aware of and have given permission for the entry to be submitted. They will be contacted and have the right to refuse to progress the entry if they are not made aware prior to submission.

How do I enter?

Go to our categories page to choose the most relevant category for your nominee and complete the entry form online. Please read the suggested guides to maximise your nominee’s chance of success. Once you have completed your entry ensure you click the submit button at the end of the entry form. You will be sent an automated email confirming the submission of your entry.

What kind of information should I include on the entry form?

Reading this guide will really help you!

Ensure you do all of the following:

  • Address the key points we provide for each category in your entry
  • If you say my nominee is an excellent… explain why, give examples, and importantly, describe the impact
  • Gather feedback, evidence, and quotes from others – other colleagues, students, perhaps even parents or other stakeholders the nominee works with. Everyone will have something different to add, and this gives your entry colour and can show different perspectives and wider impact
  • Tell us about the individual or team members – as people not just as educators

Our judges don’t want to see::

  • Reams of data – they can (and do) access this themselves
  • Your inspection report – due diligence is part of the judging process. Again o ur judges look at this
  • Whole entries or parts of entries that have been copied and pasted from other colleagues’ entries you might have submitted in other categories/awards – it’s always obvious! Make your entry unqiue, and make it personal.

Can I start an entry and complete it later?

Of course! You can begin an entry form and choose to save and continue later. A link will be sent to the email address you enter, or you can copy and paste and save the link provided. This will allow you to continue your entry at a time that is convenient to you.  As with all IT fucntions, sometimes we encouter issues, so if you want to be safe, we recommend you copy the key points to cover and write your entry offline, then once completed you can paste it into the entry box and complete the entry form. Please note the maximim word coute is 1000 words (with an additional thousand avaiable in the additonal info box). The system will cut your entry off at 1000 words, so please do not go over this, as it could be classed as incomplete entry.    




Do I need to have the nominees permission to enter them?

No, you don’t. Some nominators like to keep it a surprise until they know whether their nominee has been shortlisted. We do however send a certificate to all nominees whose nominators have submitted completed entries. We ask that all nominees are celebrated on National Thank a Teacher Day (June 19th 2024).   .


Can I enter more than one colleague into a category?

Yes, but the entries must be different i.e. personalised to the nominees. If we consider any entries for nominees from any one school or college to be identical / very similar in content except for the names, those entries will not be shortlisted.

Can I enter a colleague in to two different categories?

You can only enter an individual into one individual category. However, if that person is also part of an FE Team or a whole school team, then they can be entered into the relevant award categories, but they must not be the primary contact or the lead team member.

Can I enter a teaching team or a support team into the Awards?

Can I use AI to help me write my entry?

AI can be a useful, time-saving tool . The key to a good entry is to make it personal.

If you use AI to help give your entry structure be aware of these points:

AI generated / assisted entries tend to repeat the criteria several times and be written in formal language.  This can be offputting and make the entry difficult to read and challenging to really dig out the genuine information about your nominee. Ensure you back up any statements with personalised, specific examples, personalised to your nominee.

Judges read a lot of entries. Stand out entries are personal. They allow the judges to really get a picture of the nominee, the environment they work in, their challenges and successes.

When talking about the impact of a nominee, written evidence, testimony and  examples bring the entry to life.

It’s always best to finish the entry on a personal note, with your own ‘voice’, and not to re-iterate the criteria again in the final paragraph.

It’s a good idea to read our what makes a good entry guide here


When is the deadline for entries?

All entries must be submitted online by 5.00pm on Friday 1st March 2024

When do we find out if we have been successful?

You will find out if you have been shortlisted by mid-April, after the Easter break 2024.

If your nominee is not shortlisted and has not been put forward to the judging stage, you will be sent a certificate for them which we ask you to present when you celebrate them on National Thank a Teacher day, 19th June 2024.

If your nominee is shortlisted our judges will contact you by the end of March 2024 to let you know. We ask that you liaise with them to arrange a virtual judging visit between March 18th and May 6th 2024.

All certificate recipients and Silver Winners will be announced on Thank a Teacher Day on 19th June 2024.

The ultimate Gold winner will be announced at the end of November 2024 either live on The One Show or at the UK Ceremony taking place at the end of the week’s BBC coverage.


When is the awards ceremony?

The UK Ceremony is held annually in late November in London. Gold Winners are announced live at the event or via BBC’s The One Show in the week running up to the UK Ceremony.


Do I have to buy tickets to the UK Ceremony?

We give all our Silver a free allocation of tickets to our UK Ceremony, with an option to purchase further tickets.

As part of their prize package, all Silver Winners’ hotel rooms are paid for on the night of the UK ceremony, at a top Central London hotel.

Are there any other celebratory events for the winners?

Absolutely! All Silver Winners are invited to a celebratory afternoon tea in London in July. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the winners to meet other nominees in their category, their judges, category sponsors, and for the Teaching Awards team to meet them too!  Our winners often stay in touch after this event and see it as a great networking event – it is a great opportunity to share each others’ practice with colleagues from around the UK.

I have a question that hasn’t been covered here – who can I speak to?

If you email [email protected] one of the team will gladly help!