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Woolf Fisher Fellowship

Rewarding educational excellence in teaching

The original Woolf Fisher Fellowships were awarded in 1960. Designed to send leading secondary teachers and principals overseas to examine different teaching practices, the Fellowships are now awarded to secondary, intermediate and primary principals and secondary teachers. Through the Fellowships, the Trust acknowledges and encourages excellence in educational leadership and ‘in-school’ practice in New Zealand.

To date, more than 1,100 Woolf Fisher Fellowships have been awarded.

Click here to view who was awarded the Fellowships for 2018.

The surprise element of this Fellowship is integral to the success of the award. The Fellows never know they will receive one until they are informed, and because of that no applications can be made for the award.

Recipients continue to receive their salary during the term of the Fellowship and are provided with additional funding if their spouse can accompany them on their study trip. Relief teaching costs in their school are provided by the Ministry of Education.

No applications for Fellowships are accepted. Instead, Fellowships are conferred by the Woolf Fisher trustees in accord with Sir Woolf’s wishes that a “magic of surprise” always be associated with the announcement of the awards and that no deserving teachers are rejected because of the limited number of awards. The trustees use a system of nomination which seeks to ensure that the awards are made to worthy principals and teachers across a representative range of schools and subjects.

Please Note: The essence of the Fellowships is the element of surprise. Under no circumstances can we accept applications for the Woolf Fisher Fellowships. This is a longstanding policy.