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O’Dowd congratulates teachers at the inaugural Blackboard Awards

Education Minister John ODowd has paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of teachers and principals as he attended the inaugural Blackboard awards in Belfast.
Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Blackboard awards are an initiative led by the Belfast Media Group with the aim of celebrating the achievements of school leaders and teachers working in schools across Belfast.

Speaking at the event in Belfast Metropolitan College, the Minister said: “I welcome the opportunity to attend the inaugural Blackboard awards this evening and would like to thank the organisers for their kind invitation.

“We are very proud of our education workforce here and of the dedication and devotion which so many of our teachers and school leaders display. These awards provide an opportunity to pay tribute to those teachers and principals who have demonstrated their commitment to developing, valuing and nurturing each and every child with whom they come into contact.”

The Minister continued: “I know that those receiving awards this evening were nominated by parents and local communities. It is very encouraging that those communities place such high value on education and are keen to celebrate excellence in this way.

“For all of the great work that teachers and principals do, education does not start and end at the school gates. Without the engagement of parents and communities it is much more difficult for children to fulfil their potential. I recently launched an advertising campaign to emphasise the message that ‘Education Works’.

“It is aimed at showing parents, carers and wider family members that taking an interest in a child’s education can make a huge difference to their lives at school and beyond. It is clear that for those communities represented here this evening, that message is hitting home. I hope that others will follow their example.”

In conclusion the Minister said: “I want to once again congratulate all those receiving awards this evening. Their professionalism and dedication will no doubt inspire their colleagues, their community and most importantly the children and young people in their classroom. I offer my sincere thanks to each and every one of them for their continuing hard work.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  2. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.