THE Government-backed drive to name and acclaim teachers through a televised "Oscars" ceremony will feature a lifetime achievement award, it was announced yesterday.
There will be 15 categories in the Teaching Awards Scheme, dreamed up by film producer and standards task force member Lord Puttnam, and awards will be made in 10 English regions.
The ceremony will feature nominations for the primary and secondary teachers of the year, the best new teacher, teacher of the year in a special school, excellence in special needs teaching and a headteachers' award.
Other categories include awards for the most creative use of information and communications technology and working with parents and the community.
Nominations will be considered by a panel chaired by industrialist Sir John Harvey-Jones, the presenter of TV's Troubleshooter series.
The event will be sponsored by Lloyds TSB, and nominations will be invited from September. The aim is to raise teacher morale at a time when the profession is in the throes of a recruitment crisis.
Peter Ellwood, chief executive of Lloyds TSB, said: "This scheme will recognise the efforts of a profession that underpins the success and well-being of future generations and of the future prosperity of commercial life in this country."
The event has cross-party approval and is supported by the three main class teacher unions.
Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "As an independent initiative it shows, at last, a recognition that teaching should be celebrated at least as much as current activities in stadiums in France.
"While the scheme can only, in part, help restore teacher morale, it recognises that a confident teaching profession is one which can get the best out of young people."
Honours list, page 10