Apply for the Global Teacher Prize Competition Today

File photo- a teacher in class
File photo- a teacher in class

About Global Teacher Prize

The Global Teacher Prize is a US $1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

The Global Teacher Prize serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognised and celebrated. It seeks to acknowledge the impacts of the very best teachers – not only on their students but on the communities around them.

Global Teacher Prize Trophy
Why Teachers?

An inadequate education is a major factor behind the social, political, economic and health issues faced by the world today. We believe education has the power to reduce poverty, prejudice and conflict.

Teachers work tirelessly to provide an education for children around the world so the status of teachers is critically important to our global future. Teacher status has a significant impact on recruitment, retention, job satisfaction and performance.

Teacher Status

In 2013, the Varkey Foundation commissioned Populus, the leading research and strategy consultancy, to gather in-depth opinions from 21 countries to explore attitudes about the teaching profession; teachers’ salaries; students’ attitudes towards educators and how participants rated their own education systems.

The results, published as the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Status Index, formed the first comprehensive attempt to compare the status of teachers across the world.

In many countries, it was clear that the profession’s status had dropped and the findings shocked Sunny Varkey, the Varkey Foundation’s Chairman, whose parents had both been teachers. He founded the Global Teacher Prize as a response with the aim of raising the profession’s profile.

Global Teacher Prize: the impact

We believe the Global Teacher Prize is making a real difference to the profession and having a very positive effect at both a grassroots level and on the global stage.

In the prize’s inaugural year, there were over 5,000 entries from 127 countries which generated a huge amount of media interest. Reporting around the world has been tremendously supportive of the shortlisted teachers while a host of high profile endorsers have included Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abduallah of Jordan, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair have been very vocal in their support.

The Global Teacher Prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. Every year since then, the Global Teacher Prize has been going from strength to strength with the 2018 Prize bringing in over 30,000 applications and nominations.

Eligibility & Criteria

Candidates for the Global Teacher Prize will be judged on a rigorous set of criteria to identify an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.


The Prize is open to currently working teachers who teach children that are in compulsory schooling, or are between the ages of five and eighteen. Teachers who teach children age 4+ in an Early Years government-recognised curriculum are also eligible, as are teachers who teach on a part-time basis, and teachers of online courses. Teachers must spend at least 10 hours per week teaching children face-to-face, and plan to remain in the teaching profession for the next 5 years. The Prize is open to teachers in every kind of school and, subject to local laws, in every country in the world.

The closing date for applications is 9 September 2018, and the winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai in March 2019. The Varkey Foundation decision on eligibility is final.


Applicants for the Global Teacher Prize will be judged on a rigorous set of criteria to identify an extraordinary teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession. The Academy will look for evidence of a combination of:

1. Employing effective instructional practices that are replicable and scalable to influence the quality of education globally.

2. Employing innovative instructional practices that address the particular challenges of the school, community or country and which have shown sufficient evidence to suggest they could be effective in addressing such challenges in a new way.

3. Achieving demonstrable student learning outcomes in the classroom.

4. Impact in the community beyond the classroom that provide unique and distinguished models of excellence for the teaching profession and others.

5. Helping children become global citizens through providing them with a values-based education that equips them for a world where they will potentially live, work and socialise with people from many different nationalities, cultures and religions.

6. Improving the teaching profession through helping to raise the bar of teaching, sharing best practice, and helping colleagues overcome any challenges they face in their school.

7. Teacher recognition from governments, national teaching organisations, head-teachers, colleagues, members of the wider community or pupils.

The winner will be chosen by the prominent Global Teacher Prize Academy made up of head-teachers, educational experts, commentators, journalists, public officials, tech entrepreneurs, company directors and scientists from around the world. Meet the Academy.

How is the Prize judged?

The Global Teacher Prize Judging Academy includes public officials, head teachers, academics, journalists, entrepreneurs, company directors, scientists and entertainment industry figures from around the world. They share the common goal of shining a spotlight on the great work that teachers do and use a comprehensive list of judging criteria. To ensure fairness and transparency, the process* is overseen by PwC.

* Please note that this report will not be accessible from tablets or smartphones. It must be detached and saved to a PC in order to launch properly.

Global Teacher Prize Methodology
We chose PWC to audit, evaluate and test our process for the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Prize and are working with them again for the 2019 Prize.

“PwC is honoured to be associated with the search for the best teacher in the world. From our annual CEO survey, human capital development continues to rank as one of the highest priorities of global CEO’s, and our school teachers play a vital role in the early stages of a future employee’s development potential. An award of this nature will achieve international recognition for the significant dedication and contribution made by thousands of teachers world-wide.” — Dennis Nally, Chairman of PwC International Ltd.

Apply today!



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