TODAY, The Northern Echo launches an awards scheme to celebrate the achievements, hard work and all-round positivity in education across the North-East and North Yorkshire.

The Education Awards will honour dozens of students, teachers, support staff, governors, leaders and schools. Nominations for the awards are officially open from today, and the closing date is midnight on Friday, June 4.

The awards presentation evening will be in a virtual setting and will be streamed live on Thursday, September 30.

There are ten categories in total, as follows:

School of the Year: This award seeks to honour the school or college which has been on the biggest journey in the past 12 months. Whether it be brilliant exam results, fantastic pupil progress, receiving awards, becoming a hub for a certain subject, or enriching the lives of pupils through fantastic extra-curricular activities and being a school at the heart of the community, we want you to tell us your school’s story and what you have done in the past year which is worth shouting about.

Star Student Under 16 of the Year: This award celebrates the students who go above and beyond what is expected of them at school, forming and leading clubs and groups to benefit the school and their peers, and taking leading action to tackle important issues in the school, local community and wider society.

Star Student Over 16 of the Year: This prize is in recognition of students at sixth-form, college or in further training who go the extra mile at their place of learning to support fellow students, improve school life for their peers, and take a leading role in extra-curricular activities.

Nursery/Primary Teacher of the Year: This award celebrates the outstanding achievement or dedication of individual primary or nursery phase teachers.

Secondary Teacher of the Year: This award recognises the outstanding work and dedication of teachers in secondary schools, who are perfect role models for their students and provide inspirational and engaging teaching, and have had a huge impact on their school in the past 12 months.

Newcomer of the Year: This award celebrates the successes of teachers new to the profession, such as newly qualified teachers. Entrants should have been in education at any level for a maximum of two years, and in that time proved valuable, born teachers for the school, raising morale and standards among pupils and staff.

Supporting Staff Member of the Year: This award is open to teaching assistants, caretakers, dinner staff, pastoral and support staff and any other nonteaching staff, who always go above and beyond to benefit the children at their school, have proven a vital cog in the machine of the school over the past 12 months, and make a real difference for both teachers and students at their school.

Headteacher of the Year: This award recognises the heads of schools who are shining beacons of leadership in the education sector, who have made a significant contribution to education at their school, guiding their teams of staff and students with superb skills and being the perfect representative for their school.

Community Involvement of the Year: This award honours the staff at schools who are passionate about making sure their school and pupils take pride in the area where they are based and ensuring the school is an integral part of the local community. Whether it be adult education lessons, litter-picks, community improvement schemes or regular fairs for neighbours to visit, we want to hear about the people who put their school at the heart of the community.

Governor of the Year: This award recognises the crucial role governors play in the operation of schools, and the ideas and plans they create which have a significantly positive impact on pupils, and the ongoing commitment to the school.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, June 4. To nominate, visit