O’Dowd congratulates local teachers on winning teaching Oscars

Date published: 18 October 2015

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, congratulates two local teachers on winning gold at the Pearson teaching awards 2015 in recognition of their excellent teaching practices.

Dinah MacManus, Holy Family Primary School, won Head Teacher of the Year in a primary school and Miriam Donnan, Fleming Fulton, has been awarded Special Needs Teacher of the year.

Speaking today, Minister O’Dowd said:

“I congratulate Dinah MacManus and Miriam Donnan on achieving these awards, which are known in education circles as teaching Oscars. This is a great personal honour and a tribute to the endeavours of both teachers. The awards are also an accolade the schools involved and indeed to the quality of teaching in the north of Ireland.”

The Awards honour outstanding teachers and teaching and highlight just how vital success in education is to the health and wealth of country.

In conclusion the Minister said:

“It is great to see our local teaching staff considered in such high regard by their colleagues, parents and indeed the pupils.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The Teaching Awards were established in 1999 by Lord Puttnam CBE. The Teaching Awards process offers the public the opportunity to recognise the teacher who has helped them most, through an on-line registration of their thanks.

2. Out of sixty four categories, two local teachers were successful in receiving a “Silver” award which were announced in June this year. They were:

· Dinah MacManus, Principal of Holy Family Primary School, Belfast who won the Award for Head Teacher of the Year in a Primary School; and

· Miriam Donnan, Fleming Fulton School, Belfast who won the Award for Special Needs Teacher of the Year.

3. All “Silver” winners are eligible to be considered for a “Gold Plato” award.

4. Out of only eleven Gold Awards, both Dianah and Miriam have been successful.

5. The Gold Plato winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held on Sunday 18 October at London’s Royal Opera House, hosted by TV historian Dan Snow. It will be broadcast on BBC2 at 6.00pm on 25 October as “Britain’s Classroom Heroes”.

6. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.

7. See photos from the Department of Education in our collection on flickr.

8. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

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