Two prominent members of the General Teaching Council for England have been shortlisted in this year's Asian Women of Achievement Awards.
Sashi Sivaloganathan and Bushra Nasir are the only two representatives from the education world in a line-up that features candidates from the arts, medicine, law, industry and business.
Ms Sivaloganathan is one of six women nominated for the Public Sector Award, while Mrs Nasir will be judged from six in the Professional of the Year category.
Both women have been active members of the GTC since it was founded in 2000, and are appointed by the Government.
Ms Sivaloganathan, 37, who is married with two young children, is a special-needs teacher. She works at Ayland school for children with emotional and behaviour difficulties, in Enfield, north London, and is the GTC's vice-chairman. She said: "I feel really proud, though it is also a little bizarre to be nominated for an Asian award when I have lived in this country since I was two years old."
Mrs Nasir, 52, was the first female Muslim secondary headteacher when she took up her post at all-girls Plashet school, in Newham, east London, in 1993.
Since then she has turned the 1,350-pupil school around, with 72 per cent of girls now achieving five or more A* to C grades at GCSE, compared with just 28 per cent 10 years ago.
Mrs Nasir, who is married with three children, is the chair of the GTC's resources and planning committee. She is also the president of the Muslim Teachers' Association, and has worked with the Teacher Training Agency to monitor ethnic-minority representation in the profession. She was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2003, and in 2000 received the Windrush Award for being an educational high-flier.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony, sponsored by Lloyds TSB, at the London Hilton on May 26.