The Educational Publishing Awards are judged by a panel of highly experienced publishing professionals. In the build up to the shortlist announcement, we’ll be introducing you to the people diligently reviewing the huge number of entries this year. In this, the first edition of our Meet the Judges series, we interview Primary sector judges Peter Stannard and Kate McGough.

Peter Stannard, Director, Firefly Education Peter_Stannard
Peter specialises in publishing primary education resources for students and teachers. With a science background, he taught for over 20 years in high schools in Queensland, and together with co-author Ken Williamson, he has written over 50 books for secondary science students. This is Peter’s 3rd year on the EPAAs judging panel. 
Peter, why do you think the EPAAs are important for our industry? The EPAA showcases the best of Australia’s creative educational publishing. Most importantly, it gives all Australian publishers, both large and small, equal opportunity to expose their product to other publishers and to have it judged on its merits by industry peers.
What are the challenges of being an EPAAs judge? The biggest challenge is to assess all entries as fairly as possible by embracing the philosophy of the product and the way in which the publisher intended its use by customers. Our role as judges has become more complicated recently as many entries now have multiple platforms in their delivery and assessment of the product is more time consuming. 
What do you particularly value when reviewing an educational resource? As an experienced classroom teacher in the past, I think the most important criterion for a successful educational product is its usability by students and/or teachers. Students (and teachers) like well-designed and innovative products, but the best products also have to ‘work in the classroom’ by inspiring, motivating and challenging their customers. This is what I look for in an educational resource.
What’s the product or series you are most proud of having worked on in your career? I have worked on a number of successful series at Firefly, notably the Sound Waves series which is based on the phonemic approach to spelling. I am also very proud to be an author of the ScienceWorld series which is published by Macmillan.
Kate McGough, Publishing Manager, Primary Division, OUP
Kate works on a range of print and digital products spanning all subject areas for years F–6,  from creating core literacy products to online assessment and learning solutions, to high-quality reference publishing. Previously, Kate was a senior publisher at Pearson where she developed print and digital literacy resources, and a senior literacy publisher for Harcourt Education where she worked on large export projects, in particular for the US market. Kate also judged the EPAAs in 2012.
Kate, how do you feel about being asked to judge the EPAAs again? It’s a great opportunity to be a judge for the EPAAs. It’s exciting and stimulating to review leading product from different competitors.
Why do you think the EPAAs are important for our industry? The EPAAs is the only opportunity we have to truly showcase the talent within our industry on a national level. It’s a great way of recognising innovation and talent, but also of celebrating and sharing success as an industry and raising the profile of this sector of publishing.
Are there any challenges specific to educational publishing that you enjoy as part of your role? Digital continues to shape and evolve the way we create educational resources; it’s exciting to move from a traditional print-based industry into an ever-evolving digital landscape, and new skill sets must be acquired to do this. My role has allowed me to constantly learn new skills and ways of working, which is both challenging and motivating.
But the heart of my role is about creating resources, whether print or digital, which contribute to teaching and learning. Creating engaging, purposeful educational resources, print or digital, that make a true difference for primary teachers and students is both challenging and incredibly fulfilling.
What do you particularly value when reviewing an educational resource? Pedagogy, purpose and ease-of-use are important in an educational resource. A resource that has true impact on teaching and learning, and is easy-to-use and implement is invaluable. Saying that, engagement is also an important factor and this can be addressed through design and content, so it’s vital to consider these as well.
What’s the product or series you are most proud of having worked on in your career? The products I am currently working on! Creating an engaging independent reading program for lower primary students that enhances our truly innovative Oxford Literacy Assess resource, and that explicitly and automatically links reading assessment to reading instruction and independence is something I am very proud to be associated with.