Prize winner urges teachers to apply for one million dollar award

Teachers are being urged to put their name forward for a one million US dollar (£750,000) prize, which recognises those that have made outstanding contribution to the profession.

The last Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize was won by a UK art and textiles teacher, Andria Zafirakou.

She said that UK teachers should come forward to help "showcase and celebrate" the work they are doing to prepare youngsters for a "hugely unpredictable" future.

"Technology is changing the world so fast - with everything from Artificial Intelligence to 3D printing - that children need great teachers more than ever," Ms Zafirakou, who works at Alperton Community School in Brent, north-west London, said

"As the world undergoes these massive changes, technology gives us both opportunities and challenges. Only through first class education can we ensure that technology benefits everyone. Only through great teachers passing on knowledge and wisdom will we find the answer.

"Maths, the sciences and the arts are all equally important for personal growth, self-understanding, and to build the skills that young people will need both now and in the near future.

"I encourage any inspirational UK teacher to apply for the prize, to come forward in order to help showcase and celebrate the great work they're doing in preparing young people for a future which is hugely unpredictable."

She added that since winning the award in March, she has "tried to shine a spotlight on the importance of raising teacher respect" and encourage everyone in the UK "from politicians to parents to support and back teachers in every way they can".

Andria Zafirakou, London teacher, won the last Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize (Varkey Foundation/PA)
Andria Zafirakou, London teacher, won the last Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize (Varkey Foundation/PA)

The Global Teacher Prize, which is now entering its fifth year, is open to teachers currently working in the profession, teaching children who are in compulsory school, or who are aged between five and 18.

Part-time teachers are eligible, as well as those that teach online courses.

Teachers can apply themselves, or be nominated be another individual.

A shortlist of 50 candidates us expected to be announced in December. This will then be whittled down to 10 finalists, with the prize awarded at a ceremony in Dubai in March next year.

Nominations can be made at, and the closing date for submissions is Sunday September 9.