PRIME MINISTER David Cameron has given a ringing endorsement to the Lancashire Telegraph Schools Awards 2014, celebrating excellence among our schools, teachers and pupils.

On a visit to East Lancashire last week he praised them for encouraging attainment and aspiration.

The awards, which were launched last month, have already been welcomed by politicians and education experts from Westminster to town halls.

When Mr Cameron visited the Silentnight factory in Barnoldswick on Friday, he gave them his personal seal of approval.

The Prime Minister said: “I am full of praise for the Lancashire Telegraph Education Awards. It's a very important scheme. The more we can do to encourage attainment, and encourage aspiration in our schools and colleges the better, so congratulations.”

There are now just three days left for entries and the judges are keen to hear from headteachers who can nominate their own schools, or parents and governors who want to single out a school, pupil or head for praise.

Previous endorsements were led by Education Minister Liz Truss and shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt.

Mrs Truss said: “It is great to see the Lancashire Telegraph shining a light on the outstanding schools, teachers and pupils in the area.

“We already have the best generation of teachers in our schools and thanks to their hard work, and our reforms, I am determined all children will receive a first-class education.”

Mr Hunt said: “We should always take the time to recognise outstanding schools, inspirational teachers and high-achieving pupils. It is great that the Lancashire Telegraph is doing just that.”

Blackburn with Darwen council education boss Dave Harling and his Lancashire County Council equivalent Matthew Tomlinson were delighted to see the Lancashire Telegraph celebrating achievement in East Lancashire’s schools.

New Blackburn College principal Dr Thomas Moore said: “The efforts of school staff and pupils are not always fully appreciated, so it’s great to be able to redress the balance.”

Blackburn with Darwen Liberal Democrat education spokesman Chris Thayne said: “There is a need to recognise excellence in schools and these awards do just that.”