Previous Inspirational Teachers Award Winners | University of Oxford
Inspirational Teachers & Students 2018
Winning Inspirational Teachers & Students at the 2018 Award Ceremony

Previous Inspirational Teachers Award Winners

Since 2010, the Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach office at the University of Oxford has run a scheme to recognise inspirational teachers from UK schools and colleges. These videos show just how inspirational our winning teachers are.

2018 winners

Adam Pothecary at Bradford College in West Yorkshire, nominated by Rocco Memery studying English Language and Literature at Harris Manchester

“His classes proved to be the most entertaining and thought-provoking experiences college had to offer.”


 Rocco Memery and Adam Pothecary

 Watch the video of Rocco and Adam

Andrew Hodgson at Aston Academy in South Yorkshire, nominated by Natalie Magee studying History at Oriel College

“Rather than simply hand-holding us towards exam success, he moulded us into keen learners who, after two years, had all developed a thirst for learning and a desire to expand our general knowledge through wider reading.”


 Andrew Hodgson and Natalie Magee

 Watch the video of Andrew and Natalie

Anna Knowles at Aquinas College in Greater Manchester, nominated by Madeleine O'Connor studying Biological Sciences at New College

“Anna made me realise that if you put your mind to something you’re passionate about and talented at, you can go so much further than you ever believed.”

Madeleine O'Connor and Anna Knowles

 Watch the video of Madeleine and Anna

Christina Pearce at Luton Sixth Form College in Bedfordshire, nominated by Matthew Judson studying PPE at Lady Margaret Hall

“She has been an inspirational influence and has undoubtedly made a significant difference to me.”


 Christina Pearce and Matthew Judson 

 Watch the video of Christina and Matthew

Danny Brown at BSix Sixth Form College in London, nominated by Desmond Asante studying Mathematics at St Peter's College

“The reason why I believe that Danny Brown deserves this award is because I think he is by far the most inspirational person in my academic life.”


 Desmond Asante and Danny Brown

 Watch the video of Desmond and Danny

Hannah Davies at Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School in Wales, nominated by Charlotte Rose studying Medicine at Magdalen College

“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the title ‘inspirational teacher’. Hannah made me challenge the Oxford applicant stereotype I held and gave me the confidence and support I needed to apply. Her faith in me never wavered and although I never believed I could one day study at Oxford, she did, and this is why I am here.”


 Hannah Davies and Charlotte Rose

 Watch the video of Hannah and Charlotte

Jonathan Taylor at Chestnut Grove Academy in London, nominated by Ephraim Conteh studying PPE at Worcester College

“His passion and drive for helping me change my life has set a precedent in my school that will inspire a generation.”


 Ephraim Conteh and Jonathan Taylor

 Watch the video of Ephraim and Jonathan

Kim Lambert at Prior Pursglove College in North Yorkshire, nominated by Bethany Carter studying Experimental Psychology at New College

“Teachers do amazing work everyday, educating young people is an extremely challenging, yet important job, the ability to inspire students to chase their dreams and reach their full potential however, is a relatively rare ability which requires endless extra dedication and commitment above and beyond what is expected.”


 Bethany Carter and Kim Lambert 

 Watch the video of Bethany and Kim

Poonam Gard at St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College in London, nominated by Shamime Ibrahim studying History and Politics at University College

“Miss Gard epitomises what it means to be a teacher, her teaching was second to none and her love for her subjects made students like me love studying even more.”


 Shamime Ibrahim

Sally Llewellyn at Pencoed Comprehensive School in Wales, nominated by Grace Shaughnessy studying English Language and Literature at Merton College

“What I lacked in was the self-belief and it was not until I had met with my A-level English teacher that I began to think of Oxford as a tangible reality. Mrs Llewellyn was intrinsic to my decision to submit an application for enrolment here.”


 Sally Llewellyn and Grace Shaughnessy

 Watch the video of Sally and Grace

Where were our 2018 nominated and winning Inspirational Teachers from?

In 2018 we received 57 nominations for teachers across the country:


Media and Press Coverage

2017 winners

How does it feel to be nominated?

"I am absolutely delighted to have been nominated by [my student] for this award and although it is a privilege to be recognised in this way, I feel  quite overwhelmed. As a teacher I feel it is my responsibility to do my best to foster enthusiasm and cultivate an interest in my subject area. Teaching is a vocation and when a student shows curiosity for knowledge and learning, the skill is recognising it and helping them to deepen and broaden their knowledge. As teachers today it is easy to be caught up with the business of statistics and data analysis and view students as 'cohorts' rather than individuals with potential in a variety  of areas. It is perhaps  easy to lose sight of our fundamental role which is to educate and encourage students to be inquiring individuals. Once potential is identified, it is natural as a teacher to want to see ones students fulfil it. My advice to students applying to university is never think that you have set the bar too high. If you aim high and you are committed, the opportunities and rewards are immeasurable." Debra Walsh - Winning Inspirational Teacher, 2017

Winning Teachers

Alice Fallon, Meden School in Nottinghamshire

Nominated by Ebony Moody, studying Mathematics at Oriel College

"I am from an area where applications to Oxbridge is very rare, never mind anybody getting into these universities, however her determination to change that is beyond anything I could ever put into words."

student and teacher

Ebony Moody and Alice Fallon

Angeline Nicholas, Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School in Kent

Nominated by Jamie Fowler, studying Biomedical Sciences at New College

"She has already made a major impact on my life… I’m extremely grateful I had the opportunity to be taught by her."

Teacher and student

Angeline Nicholas and Jamie Fowler

Bal Dhillon, Bracknell and Wokingham College in Berkshire

Nominated by Timothy Woods, studying Mathematics and Statistics at Mansfield College

"Early in the term last academic year, she planted the seed in my mind that I could come here. It started off as a bit of a dream, but with her encouragement and the support of the college it became a tangible, achievable goal."

Teacher and student

Bal Dhillon and Timothy Woods

Ceri Boyle, Ridgewood School in Doncaster

Nominated by Charlotte Green, studying English Literature and Language at Merton College

"Without her tireless efforts so many pupils in my school would not have even considered aiming for the universities that they decided to apply for and the most amazing aspect is that she is probably unaware of how many people she has inspired."

Teacher and student

Ceri Boyle and Charlotte Green

Debra Walsh, Brynteg Comprehensive School in Bridgend, Wales

Nominated by Elis Harrington, studying Modern Languages (French and German) at Jesus College

"Her attention to students and perception for talent is what makes her commendable and truly deserving of this award."

student and teacher

Elis Harrington and Debra Walsh

Graeme Morrison, Biggar High School in South Lanarkshire, Scotland

Nominated by Kathryn Sandilands, studying Law with French Law at Pembroke College

"He is the kind of teacher who pushes people to find out what they’re capable of, and he deserves to be reminded of the kind of impact that can have…thank you, for four years of enthusiasm, kindness and support."

Teacher and student

Graeme Morrison and Kathryn Sandilands

Mitchell Burke, South Cheshire College in Crewe

Nominated by Emma Shaw, studying Classics at Balliol College

"I am extremely grateful to my teacher, not only for the assistance with the practical side of admissions and exams, but also for introducing me to the style of learning through your own readings and encouraging me to develop my own opinions."

student and teacher

Emma Shaw and Mitchell Burke

Neil Robertson, Highgate Wood School in Islington, London

Nominated by Harry Vinall-Smeeth, studying Mathematics at Worcester College, and Blue Weiss, studying History at St Hilda’s College

"His lessons always challenged my perceptions; made my think differently about the world and in classes with students with very different needs he always managed to push the most able students without leaving anyone else behind."

"He worked harder than teacher I knew, and fully invested himself in his students’ academic and social development."

student and teacher

Harry Vinall-Smeeth, Neil Robertson and Blue Weiss

Peter Marks, The Ilfracombe Academy in Devon

Nominated by Noah Turner, studying Biochemistry at Lincoln College, and Michael Fuller, studying Mathematics at Pembroke College

"I’ve learnt from him a lot on how to act: to always be humble, maintain a jolly outlook on life at all times, and to always be prepared: never entrust anything to luck or chance."

"He is always willing to give his expert advice to any student, making sure that everyone can reach their highest potential."

student and teacher

Michael Fuller, Peter Marks and Noah Turner

Thomas Braun, Sacred Heart High School in Newcastle

Nominated by Katie Forsyth, studying Modern Languages (German and Arabic) at Wadham College

"He truly has played a huge role in helping me get to where I am today and I owe a huge part of my success in languages to his tireless support, encouragement and guidance."

student and teacher

Katie Forsyth and Thomas Braun

Press coverage

2016 winners

Winning Teachers

Dr Hamish Harron, Headlands School

Nominated by Mason Yousif (Physics at Oriel College)

“I have never met someone who is so proficient as both a teacher and a mentor, conveying ideas to a class whilst being approachable at the same time. It was clear, just from hearing him speak, how knowledgeable he was, which allowed him to express difficult concepts with ease. Yet he always remained humble and grounded... If a student didn’t understand he would be patient and always accommodated for everyone’s needs.”


Guest Helen Harron, winner Dr Hamish Harron and student Mason Yousif

Edward Davison, Ark Putney Academy

Nominated by Maan Al-Yasiri (History and Politics at Brasenose College)


Student Maan al-Yasiri, winner Edward Davison and guest Emilie Paine

Emmanuel Kumadoh, Nene Park Academy

Connor Hughes (Economics and Management at St Hugh’s College)

“Emmanuel is the greatest example I have ever encountered of teaching done the right way: passionately and selflessly. He truly puts his students' best interests first rather than his own convenience.”


Winner Emmanuel Kumadoh

Gill Power, Shenfield High School

Nominated by Jake Robinson (PPE at Hertford College)

“The ever present energy of enthusiasm of the class gave me nowhere to hide and I was expected to give my best. I think this expectation and the belief that I could do well was vital, it meant that I didn’t slide and kept me on track making me push myself and really challenged me to be the best I possibly could be.”


Student Jake Robinson, winner Gill Power and guest Martin Power

Iain Wilson, Grange Academy

Nominated by Andrew Scanlon (Chinese at Pembroke College)

“His guidance has allowed his students to stand higher than we every thought was possible, to achieve what our downtrodden school thought impossible, and forcefully tear off the reputation that our school cannot achieve what others can.  I believe that over his years of teaching, he has inspired more than myself and have no doubt he will continue to be this inspiration for students to come.”


Guest Robert Johnston, student Andrew Scanlon and winner Iain Wilson

Jamie Beard, Bryntirion Comprehensive School

Nominated by Adib Tarafdar (Medicine at Keble College)

“He was a very popular teacher amongst my year group, and everyone (not just me!) would always look forward to his lessons, as they were always fun, but also explained the topic very well. Overall, now that I am here, I realise how fortunate I was to have such a devoted and supportive teacher, who was urging me on all the way, and I would really like to thank him (as well as all my other amazing teachers) for all their help and support.”


Guest Victoria Evans, student Adib Tarafdar and winner Jamie Beard

John Course, Robert Clack School of Science

Nominated by Aminat Noibi (Arabic at Somerville College)

“Mr Course never taught me in class, but I definitely spent more time in his office than most of his actual students. He is more than deserving of this award because, if not for him, I would not be doing my current course, let alone in this university. Mr Course is such an inspiration because he is honest and he is a man of few words, but important ones.”


Guest Kerry Course, student Aminat Noibi and winner John Course

Jude Devlin, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School

Nominated by Gemma Baker (Theology and Religion, Regent’s Park College)

“Mrs Devlin planted the seed in my mind and taught me more than anyone else that you have to have faith in yourself and take risks; she inspired me to take the leap of faith and assured me every step of the way that I was more than capable, not only of securing a place, but thriving in both my academic studies and wider activities.”


Jude's guest, winner Jude Devlin and student Gemma Baker

Lynne Jones, Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen

Nominated by Bethan Hughes (English Language and Literature at Merton College)


Guest Jane Young, student Bethan Hughes and winner Lynne Jones

Patricia Knights, Camborne Science and International Academy

Nominated by Georgina James (Biomedical Sciences at St Edmund Hall)

“Mrs Knights has been an invaluable presence during my time at CSIA sixth form, not just for me, but undoubtedly for every other student that has attended. She works tirelessly and endlessly to accommodate the needs of every student, every day. Without her encouragement I never would have had the confidence to apply to such a competitive and prestigious university such as Oxford, and her unwavering optimism allowed me to perceive studying at Oxford as a possibility as opposed to an unlikely dream.”


Guest Robin Knights, winner Patricia Knights and student Georgina James

Press coverage

2015 winners

Winning Teachers

Press coverage

2014 winners

 Winning Teachers

Press coverage

2013 winners

Inspirational Teachers Awards 2013

Winning Teachers

  • Andy Hull, Swakeleys Post-16 Centre in Middlesex
  • Anthony Pagett, Manshead School in Bedfordshire
  • Christopher Collins, Tendring Technology College in Essex
  • Dyfed Bellis, Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Pontypwl
  • Jill Smith, Mildenhall College in Suffolk
  • Jo Rodell-Jones, St Simon Stock Catholic School in Kent
  • Karen Kelly, Wootten Upper School in Bedford
  • Miriam Evan, Presdales School in Hertfordshire
  • Philip Hickman, Pool Hayes Arts and Community School in Willenhall
  • Simon Collings, Boroughbridge High School in North Yorkshire
  • Tim Johnson, Redruth School in Cornwall
  • Victoria Ellis, Swanwick Hall School in Derbyshire

Press coverage


Inspirational Teachers Awards 2012

Winning Teachers

  • Angela Arden, Havelock Academy in Lincolnshire
  • Carol Holmes, Westhoughton High School in Bolton
  • Ian Farrell, Wilnescote High School in Staffordshire
  • Quamar Khan, Saltley School in Birmingham
  • Robert Blyth, Dallam School in Cumbria
  • Vanwy Arif, Wood Green Academy in Sandwell
  • Wendy Frampton, Glenthorne High School in Sutton

Press coverage


Winning Teachers

  • Abbas Haghazali, Cox Green School in Maidenhead
  • Agnieszka Maria Lech, Canterbury College in Canterbury
  • Ceri Anwen James, Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg in Barry
  • Ian Cripps,  Charleston Academy in Inverness
  • Janet Elias, Maesteg Comprehensive in Maesteg
  • Kate Greene, Cardinal Griffin School in Cannock
  • Martin Davies, Tytherington High School in Macclesfield
  • Steven Driver, Queen Alexandra Sixth Form (TyneMet College) in North Shields

Press coverage