THIS Thursday will see the best and brightest of education in Bradford come together for the Telegraph & Argus Schools Awards 2019.

Every year we ask people to nominate the teachers, governors, support staff and students they feel are deserving of recognition for having a positive impact on learning in the district.

As ever, we were inundated with nominations from across the entire district, and earlier this year a panel of expert judges were given the difficult job of whittling these nominations down to three-person shortlists for each category.

This year, three new categories were also introduced; Star Student Over and Under 16, and Teaching Assistant of the Year.

The winners will be revealed in an awards ceremony at the Aagrah Midpoint in Thornbury on Thursday, with details of the winners being announced online shortly afterwards, and a full list of winners will be printed in Saturday’s edition of the Telegraph & Argus.

A special souvenir supplement of the awards night will also be included in the paper on Tuesday, March 19.

A fun-filled and entertaining night is in store for attendees at the awards evening, with a choir from St Francis’ Catholic Primary School opening the night with what promises to be a wonderful rendition of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida.

This year’s host is ITV presenter Kate Walby and this year’s keynote speaker is Bradford Council’s John Galt.

Nigel Burton, editor of the Telegraph & Argus, has emphasised the importance of the Schools Awards.

He said: “Bradford’s teachers are performing miracles every day.

“People don’t become teachers for public recognition or praise. They do it because they want to help a new generation of young people reach their potential.

“We think it’s time to shine a light on these achievements. With the help of Bradford Council, the Schools Awards were set up in 2014 to celebrate the very best people working within the district’s education system.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say a great teacher can change a student’s life by helping them succeed beyond the confines of the classroom, SATs papers and GCSEs. Students inspired by their teachers can do amazing things - and that motivation stays with them well into adulthood.

“The entries we received this year have been truly inspiring and Thursday’s awards are set to be the best yet.”

Gladys Rhodes White, Bradford Council’s Interim Strategic Director of Children’s Services said: “Bradford’s Schools Awards are a fantastic celebration of our district’s amazing teachers and pupils.

“They let everyone know in Bradford our teachers are valued and they showcase the tremendous work that goes on within our schools to help pupils fulfil their potential.

“The awards are now firmly established as part of the education calendar in our district and help us highlight the inspirational stories of teachers, school leaders, support staff, governors and volunteers.

“This is an exciting time to work in education in our district. From early years to post 16 and across both the primary and secondary sectors we are seeing improvements and we’re determined that this journey of improvement continues.

“Our ‘Bradford for Teaching’ initiative is now firmly established. It is helping to make Bradford the destination for high quality education professionals as well as improving the learning and career development offer for those already working in our district.

“Our Opportunity Area status is also providing funding that enables schools to boost the life chances of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as support greater parental involvement in education.

“I want to congratulate everyone who has supported the awards and those who have been nominated. We all need to remember that the fantastic work teachers do can change the direction of a child’s life and can provide that spark of inspiration that sets them on a journey to achievement.”

Councillor Imran Khan, executive member for education, employment and skills, added: “The School Awards give much deserved recognition to the many incredible individuals who work in our schools.

“One of the best things about these awards is that they recognise the contributions made not only by teachers, staff and pupils but also by the wider schools communities.

“I invite everyone in Bradford to consider what they could do to support their local school, be it as a volunteer, governor, or as a business by offering work experience or giving pupils an insight into the world of work.”