The government is on the hunt for three people to join the board of the education honours committee.

Members recommend who should receive honours, including damehoods and knighthoods, awarded biannually through the New Year’s list, announced on New Year’s Day, and the Queen’s Birthday list, announced in June.

Candidates are put forward by the public, government departments and other professional bodies.

The committee then puts its recommendations to the prime minister who submits the list to the Queen.

The education honours committee is chaired by the Harris federation chief executive, Sir Daniel Moynihan, who recently called for more schools to nominate their unsung heroes.

The committee wants more subject leaders, long-serving teachers, support staff and lollipop ladies to be put up for a nomination.

“We’re looking for people who have made a sustained and significant contribution, or done something innovative and gone beyond their job,” Moynihan said.

In an advertisement published last week, the cabinet office said applicants needed to be experts in education and “sympathetic with the aims of the honours system”.

They must be able to “act with independence of judgment” and have the capacity to handle a large volume of submissions in a “timely and efficient manner”.

Applicants need to be experts in education and “sympathetic with the aims of the honours system”

In this year’s Queen Birthday honours, seven of the 18 people with links to school sector to receive awards in the top four categories were either heads, chairs or chief executives of trusts.

But Schools Week recently reported that research by academics Ben Laker and Alex Hill questioned if the heads achieving honours made the most sustainable changes.

Their data suggested that a tiny but influential group of heads – who they called “surgeons” – adopted a damaging “short-termist” approach that tended to “grow results quickly by kicking out low-performing pupils” but were disproportionately recognised with a top award.

The most recent advert suggests, however, that the board is looking for a diverse group of people to select future recommendations.

Entries are “particularly welcome” from women, ethnic minority and disabled candidates who are “under-represented at this level of public life”.

The roles are unpaid part-time posts requiring two days work throughout the year.

Applications for the three vacant posts close on November 30.

Call Lucy Clegg at the Cabinet Office on 020 276 2772 for more details.