PARENTS and pupils across the North West are being asked to nominate their inspiring teachers to win a prestigious Teacher of the Year award. The Educate Awards is inviting parents, carers and pupils to nominate a teacher who is making a real difference to their school community. The Teacher of the Year Award is open to both primary and secondary school teachers and recognises an outstanding teacher who has inspired their students to have a love of learning. Nominations for the award are now open and close on Sunday 25 June. Passionate, encouraging, dedicated and amazing are all words which have been used to describe past winners, and this year the judges are looking for nothing less. Last year’s winner, Mr Martyn Dutton from Barnton Community Nursery and Primary School in Northwich, Cheshire was nominated by a parent of one of his pupils and judges commented that he was the ‘perfect example of a teacher going above and beyond the call of duty’. The pupil in question has epilepsy and Martyn went out of his way to ensure the child was included in every activity, safe and happy. The child’s mother credited Martyn with giving her son “the best educational start in life”. The Educate Awards, now in its sixth year, is an annual celebration which aims to showcase the brilliance within the region’s education sector. Open to all schools in the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and Lancashire, the awards are the biggest of its kind and cover every aspect of a school’s curriculum, teaching and staff. Kim O’Brien, founder of the Educate Awards, says: “The power of a great teacher is something almost all of us have experienced and can remember fondly. Great teachers make school an exciting, engaging place to learn and encourage children to pursue different ideas and careers. “There are so many unsung heroes working in the region’s schools who do remarkable work on a daily basis. We want to hear about these teachers and celebrate their achievements. “If you know an extraordinary teacher who goes above and beyond the call of duty, don’t delay and submit a nomination, it could make their year!” Award nominations can be made by anyone with links to a school, including pupils, parents, headteachers, fellow teachers and governors. Entries are completely free and can be made online at educateawards.co.uk.