Awards celebrate achievement in public education

Outstanding student achievement and inspiring public education staff and parents have been recognised in the 2020 NSW Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards for Excellence.

08 September 2020
A group of students sit on the floor of a cave made of butchers paper and fairy lights.
Image: Liverpool Boys High School took home The Secretary’s Award for an Outstanding School Initiative for their Take Over Project.

The awards to 120 individuals and schools showcase NSW public school students, staff and parents who have made major contributions to their education communities and serve as role models to their peers.

They also acknowledge schools that have embraced innovative programs to improve student wellbeing and academic results and are changing the way education is delivered within the government system.

The award recipients, from right across NSW, were selected in the following categories:

  • Minister’s Award for Excellence in Student Achievement
  • Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Secretary’s Award for Excellent Service
  • Secretary’s Award for an Outstanding School Initiative
  • Secretary’s School Achievement Award
  • Public School Parent of the Year.

The NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell, said the awards affirmed the high standards, dedication and community connections in the public education system.

“These awards highlight the tremendous contribution that students, teachers, support staff, principals and the school community make to public education in NSW as we strive for learning and teaching excellence,” Ms Mitchell said.

Department of Education Secretary Mark Scott said it was timely to celebrate the range of achievements in a difficult year for schools, staff and students.

“This year's recipients showed the remarkable flexibility and resourcefulness in our school communities when faced with the learning challenges of COVID-19,” he said.

“Many of these schools and teachers have used their significant knowledge of education in their communities to lift their school standards and recognise all students as their own learners.”

Public Education Foundation executive director David Hetherington said the foundation was proud to host the awards on behalf of Education Minister Sarah Mitchell and Department Secretary Mark Scott.

“The awards are always a highlight of the education calendar, showcasing the extraordinary talent across NSW public education, which has been on display more than ever in this unusual year,” Mr Hetherington said.

Read the award citations on the Public Education Foundation website.

Video – 2020 NSW Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards for Excellence

Duration – 2:58

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell and Secretary Mark Scott congratulate the 2020 award winners.

Sarah Mitchell

Hi, I'm Sarah Mitchell, the NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning. I'm here with Mark Scott, our Secretary. Each year a number of public schools students and teachers of the NSW Department of Education are presented with Minister's Awards. The Minister's Award for Excellence in Student Achievement is a prestigious award presented to students who have demonstrated high achievement in academic excellence, leadership and commitment to their school community. This year's students are outstanding students who have not only impressed their school community to be nominated but also our panel members who have recommended them for the award. The Minister's Award for Excellence in Teaching recognises the achievements of outstanding teachers in NSW government schools in delivering high-quality education to students and their contributions to their professional community. This year, the awards are being given to teachers that are changing the lives of their students, and I'd like to congratulate the winners of this year's Minister's Awards.

Mark Scott

Each year a number of public school parents, schools and employees of the NSW Department of Education are presented with Secretary's Awards. The Secretary's Award for Excellent Service honours employees who have shown outstanding effort in improving the quality of teaching and learning outcomes in public education. The recipients demonstrate improvement to teaching, leadership, improvement to student learning outcomes, and the commitment to education in the community. The Secretary's Award for an Outstanding School Initiative is presented to NSW public schools demonstrating their commitment to supporting students through teaching and learning outcomes, leadership or sustainable learning environment. This year's recipients showed the remarkable flexibility and resourcefulness in our school communities when faced with the learning challenges of COVID-19. The Secretary's School Achievement Award recognizes public schools that create a sustainable learning environment on a whole of school level. This year's recipients have used their significant knowledge of education in their communities to lift their school standards and recognize all students as their own learners. Some schools are represented in more than one award category. The Public School Parent of The Year Award is presented to parents, guardians and caregivers, who have made a significant contribution to their local public school community. This is often through the tireless work with the P&C association or volunteering in other areas of the school, including the assisting with well being of staff and students in class activities or fundraising initiatives. We'd like to congratulate the winners of this year's Secretary's Awards and Minister's Awards for public education.

End of transcript.

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