YOUR St Helens Star is seeking to salute the best pupils, staff, teachers and support staff, as we launch our Education Awards 2016, sponsored by Carmel College.

The awards, which celebrate all the good work and dedication in St Helens schools, also highlight the innovation and best practice across the area.

St Helens has some fantastic schools but many feel the efforts of teachers and staff are frequently undervalued so the awards aim to acknowledge and reward excellence.

This year, we are on the look-out for nominations for 13 categories.

The overall sponsor is Carmel College and the night of celebration will take place at the World of Glass on Thursday, June 16.

Star editor Andrew Kilmurray said: “These awards are all about raising aspirations and encouraging high achievement. We want to give the best of St Helens schools the chance to shine in the spotlight. We’ll be backing up the awards night with extensive coverage in the Star and on our website.

“We’re looking forward to receiving some great entries from across the education sector.”

Entries are invited from teachers, parents, governors, pupils and anyone with knowledge of a particular school.

All schools are welcome to enter as long as they are based in the boroughs of St Helens.

The categories are: (See criteria further below)

  • Lifetime achievement Award, sponsored by Carmel College
  • Secondary School of the Year
  • Secondary School Pupil of The Year, sponsored by St Helens College
  • Unsung Hero Award
  • Primary School Pupil of The Year, sponsored by Heirs and Graces
  • Primary School of the Year, sponsored by Rathlee Nursery School
  • Teacher of the year
  • Class of the year
  • Head teacher/principal of the year, sponsored by World of Glass
  • Early Years Award
  • Further Education student of the year, sponsored by University Centre St Helens
  • Special Education Needs Award
  • Apprentice of the year, sponsored by St Helens Chamber

Individuals or institutions can enter more than one category but this should be made clear on the entry form. The last date for receiving entries is May 20.

Send your nomination and any supporting evidence you have to Events Department, St Helens Star Education Awards 2016, The Academy, 138 Bridge Street, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 2RU or email us with the subject line “St Helens Star Education Awards” to

You can also drop entries in to the Star's office on Parade Streeet, St Helens (next to Holy Cross Church).

Or click here to fill out a nomination form

Please include who you are nominating as well as their address, email and contact telephone number. We also need the name of the nominator and their contact number.

The winners will be presented with their awards at the ceremony.

All applications will be considered and entrants agree to accept the judges’ decision as final.

Category criteria for guidance:

  • Lifetime achievement Award, sponsored by Carmel College: This prestigious award will go to someone who, in the view of the judges, has had a significant and positive impact on education in St Helens over a period of years.
  • Secondary School of the Year: The secondary school of the year category is designed to celebrate, not the buildings, but the real achievements made in enabling pupils to realise their potential. It’s not just about exams, but nurturing talent and aspiration while giving pupils the skills to equip them for the modern world.
  • Secondary School Pupil of The Year, sponsored by St Helens College: We are not just looking for the brainiest pupil in St Helens — although academic excellence plays a part — but for those who go the extra mile to achieve in all sorts of areas. In short, the judges for this award will be looking for someone who has shown responsibility and leadership qualities, meaning they have set a positive example to their peers.
  • Unsung Hero Award: To constantly achieve good results year after year takes real teamwork, and although teachers themselves are vital, the people involved in any enterprise at the top of its game is made up of a wide range of people. There are likely to be caretakers, cleaners, teaching assistants and meals staff, plus the role of the ‘lollipop’ lady or man.
  • Primary School Pupil of The Year, sponsored by Heirs and Graces: This category aims to focus a spotlight on today’s St Helens boys and girls who, by their actions, have earned the admiration and respect of school staff and pupils alike. It might be that they have shone academically, although intelligence and hard work are not the only criteria by any means. Judges will be looking for pupils who help those around them and are keen to get involved in all kinds of school activities.  The winner of this category might also have put personal problems to one side in order to play a significant part in the classroom life.
  • Primary School of the Year, sponsored by Rathlee Nursery School: We want to reward an exceptional school which stands out from the rest. Not only do we want to see academic achievement, we also want the entries to demonstrate innovation, imagination and efforts to develop children in ways that go beyond the league tables.
  • Teacher of the year: Most of us can remember individual teachers who made a real difference to our school days and made learning fun.  They were the ones who particularly inspired us to explore experiment and push ourselves. It could be that they brought what otherwise seemed to be a dull curriculum to life because of their enthusiasm and ability to explain complicated ideas.  Or it may be that they particularly encouraged you as a pupil to take part in lessons and express yourself so you gained confidence and came to enjoy learning.
  • Class of the year: This award is for pupils who really have proved they are a class act. Often young people do not realise what they do is special and deserves recognition. We are looking for nominations for a high school class who have done something special as a team to benefit their school, themselves or their community.
  • Head teacher/principal of the year, sponsored by World of Glass: It is because of the head teachers of the borough and the staff they lead, that parents and carers feel confident in taking their sons and daughters to school each day. As well as classroom culture and achievement, judges will be looking for heads who have made their schools an integral part of their communities. It is about inspirational leadership and the ability to produce a school where people care and which buzzes with enthusiasm, community and achievement.
  • Early Years Award: We're looking for the outstanding individual or team from the early years sector. It could be someone based with a private nursery, early years workers at a school or a childminding service. We want to hear which teams or individuals have truly made a difference or astounded you by the brilliance of their care or teaching.
  • Further Education student of the year, sponsored by University Centre St Helens: These awards will recognise students who can demonstrate a commitment to their own personal and professional development through learning. They should show that education has made a real difference to their life by improving their skills or qualifications, or they may have overcome particular obstacles to succeed.
  • Special Education Needs Award: It might a pupil who has academically achieved over and above what was expected of them, or, despite their own challenges, have helped to improve the lives of others.  Judges will be looking for pupils who help those around them, are kind and sincere are all keen to get involved in all kinds of different school activities.
  • Apprentice of the year, sponsored by St Helens Chamber: We are looking for an apprentice who has completed an apprenticeship within the past academic year or is currently working towards an apprenticeship. Judges will be looking for apprentices who have made outstanding progress in both their practical work and in their studies, and who have made an exceptional contribution to their workplace.