Teachers from London, Devon and the Vale of Glamorgan have reached the next stage of the Global Teacher Prize, in which the winner receives a prize of $1 million (£670,000).
The Global Teacher Prize, which will be awarded next March, was set up by the Varkey Foundation, the charitable arm of the Gems international education firm. Last year the prize was awarded to Nancie Atwell from the United States.
Prime minister David Cameron has praised the teachers from the UK, and highlighted their achievements in being shortlisted. The three teachers are Colin Hegarty from Preston Manor School in Wembley, Janet Hayward from Cadoxton Primary School in Barry and Sean Bellamy from Sands School in Ashburton.
The aim of the competition is to raise the status of the teaching profession across the world by focusing on the achievements of exceptional teachers.
Last year, Richard Spencer from Middlesbrough was the only UK teacher to make the top ten. He attended the final ceremony with former US president Bill Clinton.
The three UK finalists have all shown initiative in their roles which have seen great successes. Colin Hegarty is already a classroom prize-winner, having won last year in the UK's Pearson Teaching Awards. Originally an accountant at Deloitte, he took a £40,000 pay cut to become a teacher and has set up a free website to help with maths.
Janet Hayward, a primary school head teacher, has promoted the use of technology and is chairwoman of the National Digital Learning Council in Wales. Last year, she was made an OBE for services to education.
Sean Bellamy runs an unconventional secondary school based on principles of "democratic education", where rules are decided collectively, there is no uniform, staff are paid the same, and everyone is on first-name terms. He is now being consulted by South Korea's education ministry and South Korean academics interested in ideas about "emotional intelligence" and young people's mental health.
David Cameron said the teachers' prize was a fantastic initiative, and sent his congratulations to the UK entrants.
Posted by Charlotte Michaels