The search has begun for the Kent Teacher of the Year. Organisers of the prestigious annual awards event are now accepting nominations from the public, professionals in the education sector and from school staff.

The event aims to find the very best teachers, support staff and volunteers working within schools in Kent, Medway and Bexley. We are searching for individuals and teams of people who go above and beyond the call of duty for the benefit of their pupils and school community. Making a nomination is easy. Visit www.kentteacheroftheyear.co.uk and complete the nomination page.

The launch for the 2018 contest – organised by the KM Charity Team – was held at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel near Maidstone, which will host a glittering awards event in May 2018. The event is endorsed by celebrity Catherine Spencer.

MY Trust is proud to be supporting the event and will present one of the top awards on the night.

Academic categories include: literacy, maths, sport, foreign languages, science – biosciences, physics, chemistry, forensics, drama and performing arts, history, citizenship and politics, fine art and music and early years foundation stage leader, as well as the major categories of primary school teacher of the year, secondary school teacher of the year, team of the year, senior leadership team and head teacher of the year.

For volunteers and non teaching staff there are also categories to trumpet their contribution to the school. Everything from career advisers, those involved with pastoral care, school secretaries, dinner ladies and caretakers will be recognised through the event, as will members of the PTA, school governors and volunteer readers.

A panel of judges select winners from each local authority area, and then have the tough task of picking thecounty’s overall champions. All will be revealed at the awards event this May at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel.

Catherine Spencer said: “Nothing is more important than a good teacher. The academic and pastoral work delivered in class lays the foundations for success for the next generation. I am particularly keen to see nominations linked to physical activity because schools can play such an important role in fostering a love of sport and encouraging green travel to school.”

Kent Teacher of the Year is staged by the KM Charity Team and is supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council and the KM Group. Nominations are accepted from January 2 to March 2 each year. Visit www.kentteacheroftheyear.co.uk to submit your entry. Follow Teacher of the Year on Twitter @KMCharityTeam and #KMTOTY