The first ever Eastern Daily Press Norfolk Education Awards are open for entries, giving people the chance to nominate the schools and individuals who exemplify the dedication, innovation and engagement seen throughout the education sector.

Here we speak to the judges and sponsors of the Outstanding Support for Students and Teaching Assistant or Support Staff of the Year categories.

Eastern Daily Press: The Outstanding Support for Students award recognises the teachers who go above and beyond to help students realise their potentialThe Outstanding Support for Students award recognises the teachers who go above and beyond to help students realise their potential (Image: NTCC)


Jacqui Waring, director, Norfolk Teacher Training Centre 

Why did you decide to sponsor this award?
Recognising and nurturing teachers who know the importance of supporting pupils to achieve their potential is one of our core values, and we are proud to support this award.

What are your hopes for the future of education in Norfolk?
Our passion is to train the best teachers, helping them change the lives of pupils by giving them the best education and opportunities. 

We value working in partnership with schools to ensure that our trainees are prepared for the important role of teaching. 

Together we support future generations.

How has the support offered to students changed over recent years and why is it so important?

As we have seen since Covid, teachers have a vital role in supporting students. We know that many children faced challenges returning to school and together we are ensuring that we support our students to realise their potential, becoming resilient and confident in their futures.

What is the benefit of offering outstanding support for students?

Teachers have a responsibility to engage and inspire students. Supporting students takes skill, passion and dedication. Offering outstanding support can change their future. 

We all remember one teacher who took the time to help us and made a difference in our lives. 

Primary School of the Year

Melanie Hides, head of catering at Norse Catering

Why should people take the time to enter this award?

It has been a particularly tough time within the education sector, and it is important for schools to take a step back and celebrate their achievements. 

Being shortlisted for such an award would provide all members of the school a well-deserved boost.

What do you feel is a primary school’s main role?

Their main role is to support children and ensure every stage of their learning journey is positive, engaging and rewarding so children become happy and fulfilled adults. 

As we have seen over the last few years, primary school’s also act as hubs to help bring people together and enrich their communities.

As a business that provides schools with tasty, freshly prepared meals, we also understand the positive impact our menus have on the health and wellbeing of children.

With so much focus on core subjects, why is it important for schools to ensure a varied curriculum?

Every child is different, so we believe it is important to ensure a varied curriculum that can engage and inspire all. 

We are particularly passionate about seeing gardening clubs and cookery workshops in schools, as we know the positive impact this can have on children’s understanding of food, health and nutrition.

Nominations for the Eastern Daily Press Norfolk Education Awards are now open and can be made online at

The deadline for nominations is Sunday, June 11 and the finalists will be invited to the awards ceremony on October 12 at Barnham Broom Hotel.