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Global Teacher Prize COVID Hero winner Jamie Frost calls for “inspirational” UK teachers and students to apply for the 2021 Global Teacher Prize and the inaugural Global Student Prize

Jamie Frost, winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2020 COVID Hero award, in partnership with @UNESCO, today (5 Feb) urged UK teachers to apply for the 2021 edition of the @TeacherPrize 

Jamie Frost says UK teachers and students deserve huge recognition for their extraordinary work during the pandemic and for the “leading roles” they will play in helping rebuild for the future

Jamie also urged, for the first time, UK students to apply for its new sister award, the Global Student Prize. The Varkey Foundation has launched the Global Student Prize this year, a $50,000 sister award to the Global Teacher Prize, to create a powerful new platform to highlight the efforts of extraordinary students throughout the world that are making a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond. The prize is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an academic institution or training and skills programme. Part time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize.

Together, the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize will tell inspirational stories from both sides of education. The prizes will shine a spotlight on the great work teachers do in preparing young people for the future and the amazing promise the brightest students are showing in their learning and far beyond.

Jamie Frost, who teaches maths at Tiffin School, Kingston-Upon-Thames, was a top 10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2020 and the recipient of its COVID Hero Award, said:

“Teachers and students across the UK have had to rapidly adapt to remote learning as the pandemic has brought the greatest disruption to education the country has ever seen. But teachers and students alike have risen to the challenge heroically, and I am confident they will rise to the challenges ahead and play leading roles in the nation’s long-term recovery and rebuilding. By celebrating their inspirational work we help build a better tomorrow.”​ is a supporter of the Global Teacher Prize and has partnered with the Varkey Foundation to create the new Global Student Prize. Lila Thomas, Head of, said:

“Students throughout the world during the pandemic have shown great strength, focus and determination to keep learning and keep fighting for their future. They deserve huge praise and recognition for never giving up. 

“These students will now be charged with helping to solve some of the greatest challenges in history. The Global Student Prize has been launched to shine a light on their stories and listen to their voices. After all, it is their dreams, their insights and their creativity that will help to build the future.”

Sunny Varkey, who founded both the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize, said:

“Both these prizes have been launched to highlight the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality to global pandemics.

“With the world leaders preoccupied with the vital task of bringing this terrible pandemic to an end, I urge them to never forget that it is only by prioritizing education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”

Teachers applying for the Global Teacher Prize will be assessed on teaching practices, how they innovate to address local challenges, achieve demonstrable learning outcomes, impact the community beyond the classroom, help children become global citizens, improve the teaching profession and gain recognition from external bodies. The US$1m award was won last year by Indian village teacher Ranjitsinh Disale.

Students applying for the Global Student Prize will be assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they operate as global citizens.

Applicants for the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize can both apply at and the closing date for applications is Friday 30 April  2021.

Both prizes will be narrowed down to Top 50 shortlists and Top 10 finalists, to be announced later in the year, helping to raise the bar of respect for the teaching profession and provide worldwide recognition for high achieving students. The winners of both prizes will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy made up of prominent individuals. The winners will be announced live at a ceremony later in the year. 

If teachers or students are being nominated, the person nominating them will write a brief description online explaining why.  The teacher or student being nominated will then be sent an email letting them know they’ve been nominated and inviting them to apply for the prize.   Applicants can apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

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