We are delighted to announce that one of our 2021 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award recipients has been named as a Top 10 finalist for the prestigious $US1 million Global Teacher Prize. 

Rebecca West, Deputy Principal Instructional Leader at Bonnyrigg Public School in NSW and a 2021 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award recipient, had already been named as one of the Top 50 finalists out of more than 8,000 nominations from 121 countries this year. She has now been confirmed as a top 10 finalist.

Image of Rebecca West with students at Bonnyrigg Public School

Established by the Varkey Foundation in 2014, the annual Prize recognises and celebrates the impact that exceptional teachers have around the world – not only on their students but on their communities.

Rebecca entered the Global Teacher Prize following the partnership struck between Schools Plus and the Varkey Foundation. Under this partnership, recipients of the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards – which we co-present with the Commonwealth Bank – are specifically invited to apply.

Rebecca West commented: “I’m very honoured and humbled to be shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize. The continued representation of Australian teachers in this prestigious award is a fabulous testament to the quality of Australian teachers on a global scale. I am especially proud to represent NSW public education on the international stage.”

Rebecca West follows in the footsteps of previous Schools Plus nominees – Eddie Woo and Yasodai Selvakumaran who were selected as Global Teacher Prize finalists in previous years and subsequently named in the Top 10.

Eddie Woo, now an ambassador for Schools Plus said “I deeply believe in the work of Schools Plus – their efforts to close the education gap are vital in supporting all students to succeed at school. It’s so important that they help us to recognise the importance of great teachers, and while this is just one part of their work, it’s brilliant to see Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award recipients being acknowledged on a global scale! My sincerest congratulations go to Rebecca; having worked closely with her in the past, I know that being shortlisted for this award is a well-deserved testament to her dedication and wonderful teaching.”

Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn said the international agreement between Schools Plus and the Varkey Foundation reflected the high regard of the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards and the calibre of the Australian educators recognised annually in the Awards.

“More than 8,000 teachers and school leaders from 121 countries were nominated for the Global Teacher Prize this year, so to have Rebecca named amongst the Top 10 educators in the world is incredibly exciting,” Ms Conn said. 

“We already know the difference Rebecca is making to students’ lives; so we’re thrilled her impact is now being brought to global attention. Our partnership with the Varkey Foundation shines a spotlight on the work that goes on in Australian schools every day, to transform the future for individual students and their communities.” 

The winner of the 2021 Global Teacher Prize will be announced in Paris in November. The 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards will open for nominations in February 2022.