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Oxford honours 'Inspirational' state school teachers

Oxford honours 'Inspirational' state school teachers

Ten state school teachers from across Britain have been honoured as 'inspirational teachers' by Oxford University as part of an awards scheme designed to recognise excellent teachers from state schools and colleges.

On 18 May the teachers were honoured at an event at St Peter's College. They were recognised for their efforts supporting pupils who were successful in getting places at Oxford. The teachers were all nominated by current first-year Oxford students.

Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, said: 'The Inspirational Teachers Awards are one of my favourite events of the whole year, because the Awards are about celebrating the hard work of teachers. We hear from current students at Oxford about how their teachers supported and encouraged them, not only through the excellence of their subject teaching but also by helping students believe in themselves, and believe that Oxford could be for them.

'I would like to see more students from all regions and all backgrounds applying to us. They might be the first person in their school to apply to Oxford, or even the first person in their family to apply to university at all – it’s their skills and hard work we are looking for.'

'Teachers are vital in identifying students with this kind of potential, and inspiring students to recognise that potential in themselves. As a former teacher, I recognise the numerous demands on teachers' time and these awards are one of the ways that Oxford says thank you.'

The Inspirational Teachers scheme recognises the crucial role teachers play in encouraging talented students in their schools or colleges. A selection of current first-year Oxford undergraduates were asked to nominate teachers who inspired them to apply to Oxford, fostered their passion for a particular subject, or supported them through the application process. The students were all from selected UK state schools or colleges with a limited history and tradition of sending students to Oxford.

Andrew Hodgson, a politics teacher at Aston Academy in Yorkshire, received his award after being nominated by Natalie Magee. She said: 'My final year of A-Levels was a particularly difficult time for me; I had a lot on my plate and it was beginning to take a toll on my academic performance. I received tremendous support from friends, family and the Academy, but it was Mr Hodgson whose inspirational words and support ultimately motivated me to "get back in the saddle" and stay focused on my goal. He is a truly outstanding teacher, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to thank him personally for his efforts by nominating him for this award.'

Mr Hodgson said: 'I was thrilled and surprised to receive this award. I have been teaching for 40 years have always enjoyed watching students develop, whatever their ability, but to be considered "inspirational" by a student as gifted as Natalie is a wonderful accolade in the sunset of my career.'

Oxford University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, said: 'Inspirational teachers make a lifelong impression on their students. Every one of us, of any age, can remember a teacher who challenged and inspired us, who brought out the best in us, and motivated us to do more. Oxford's standing as one of the world's pre-eminent universities is based not only on the excellence of our research, but also on the unrivalled quality of our teaching. Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients.'

The winning teachers are:

  • Danny Brown, BSix Sixth Form College, Hackney
  • Hannah Davies, Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School, Barry
  • Poonam Gard, St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College, London
  • Andrew Hodgson, Aston Academy, Aston 
  • Anna Knowles, Aquinas College, Stockport
  • Kim Lambert, Prior Purlsglove College, Middlesbrough
  • Sally Llewellyn, Pencoed Comprehensive School, Pencoed
  • Christina Pearce, Luton Sixth Form College, Luton
  • Adam Pothecary, Bradford College, Bradford
  • Jonathan Taylor, Chestnut Grove Academy, London

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