ONE of Queensland’s longest-serving and most influential Education Ministers has been recognised for his contribution to state education with a new annual awards program launched on World Teachers Day on Friday.
Former Premier, Education Minister and school teacher Jack Pizzey (1911 – 1968), introduced significant reforms in the state school system, giving thousands of Queenslanders access to a quality education.
The Jack Pizzey Awards will acknowledge and build on excellence in educational leadership, offering state schools, principals and school leadership teams a share of $90,000 in prizemoney.
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Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said it was fitting for Jack Pizzey to be the namesake of the awards that would recognise state schools for the work they do to improve the lives of young Queenslanders.
“The Queensland Government is absolutely committed to doing what ever it takes to ensure our children have access to a quality education experience,” Mr Langbroek said.
“That’s why we want to to recognise the schools that go above and beyond to make sure our kids have every opportunity to lead fulfilling and successful lives.
“Education is the foundation of opportunity – Jack Pizzey knew that, parents know that and so does the Can-Do LNP Government.”
Mr Langbroek said he was one of the many Queenslanders who could be thankful for the work that Jack Pizzey did in his time as Education Minister.
“Jack Pizzey championed accessible public education and was particularly passionate about secondary and further education. He raised the minimum school leaving age to 15 in 1964,” he said.
“During his time as Education Minister he increased the number of state high schools from 30 to 96 and also helped set up the state’s first regional university college in Townsville – James Cook University.
“He was also the driving force behind the planning of a teachers’ training college that later became part of a Brisbane university, and decentralised technical education.
Mr Langbroek encouraged Queensland state schools to nominate for the three new annual awards, with the winners to be announced in February 2015.
“The awards support the government’s aim to promote high performance, empower leaders and foster parent and community engagement in education,” he said.
“They also support our $537 million Great Teachers = Great Results action plan which invests in developing the skills of the people who help shape our children’s future – their teachers
“State schooling in Queensland has gone from strength to strength under this government and we are determined to continue working hard to see that continue for many years to come.”
Nominations for the inaugural awards open today and close at 5pm, 5 December. For more information and details on how to enter, visit the website, http://jackpizzeyawards.dete.qld.gov.au