Twelve state school teachers from across Britain have been honoured as 'inspirational teachers' by Oxford University as part of an awards scheme designed to recognise and show appreciation for inspirational teachers from state schools and colleges.
The teachers were recognised for their efforts supporting pupils who were successful in getting places at an awards event held at St Hilda's College. The teachers were all nominated by current first-year Oxford students.
Oxford's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, presented the awards, and said: 'It's hard to over-estimate the impact a good teacher can have in encouraging and raising the aspirations of students over the course of their careers. Winning a place at Oxford takes hard work and dedication, and having the support of a committed teacher is for many students what makes the difference in pushing them to apply and make the strongest application they can. I hope this award will send the message that students and universities recognise how valuable the role of a supportive teacher can be.'
Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Oxford, said: 'The Inspirational Teachers Awards are a way of recognising the importance of school or college teachers in encouraging bright students to realise their potential and make a successful application to Oxford, especially those who might not have initially believed they were Oxford material.
'Most of the students who submitted nominations this year were the only ones at their school with the academic ability to apply to Oxford, and might not have even considered applying. We think it's important to recognise those teachers whose dedication really made a difference in pushing students to have confidence in their academic abilities and aim for the top, no matter what.
'This year's winning teachers also represented the highest standard of commitment to all their students, inspiring successful Oxford applicants but also raising the aspirations or instilling an enthusiasm for their subject in others. They have inspired students with their passion, creativity and dedication to be the best they possibly can be, and deserve recognition for that above all.'
The award scheme, now in its third year, recognises the crucial role teachers and careers advisors play in encouraging talented students in their schools or colleges. A selection of current first-year Oxford undergraduates were asked to nominate teachers or careers advisors for the award 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.
The winning teachers and nominating students were:
Dyfed Bellis, Maths teacher at Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw, Pontypool
Nominated by Christopher Williamson, who is studying Mathematics at St Edmund Hall
Simon Collings, Head of Sixth Form at Boroughbridge High School
Nominated by Joseph Miles, who is studying PPE at Wadham College
Christopher Collins, Biology teacher at Tendring Technology College, Frinton-on-Sea
Nominated by Tom White, who is studying Biology at Merton College
Victoria Ellis, Head of Geography at Swanwick Hall School, Alfreton
Nominated by Lauren Brown, who is studying Geography at St Anne's College
Miriam Evan, Russian teacher at Presdales School, Ware
Nominated by Harriet Buckley, who is studying Russian and Czech at University College
Philip Hickman, Head of Music at Pool Hayes Arts and Community School, Willenhall
Nominated by Daniel Tonks, who is studying Music at New College
Andy Hull, Head of Sixth Form at Swakeleys Post 16 Centre, Hillingdon
Nominated by Nupur Patel, who is studying History and French at Lincoln College
Tim Johnson, History teacher at Redruth School, Redruth
Nominated by Rebecca Rundle, who is studying History at Merton College
Karen Kelly, Philosophy teacher at Wootton Upper, Wootton
Nominated by Cathy Mason, who is studying Philosophy and Theology at Trinity College
Anthony Pagett, Psychology teacher at Manshead School, Caddington
Nominated by Courtney Spoerer, who is studying Experimental Psychology at St Catherine's College
Jo Rodell-Jones, Head of Sixth Form at St Simon Stock Catholic School, Maidstone
Nominated by Abigail Motley, who is studying Biological Sciences at St Hilda's College
Jill Smith, Maths teacher at Mildenhall College, Suffolk
Nominated by Natalie Fuller, who is studying Physics at Somerville College
Oxford University through its outreach work reaches 78% of schools across the country with post-16 provision. The University also has a major focus on working with teachers, including a series of regional teachers' conferences each year, a one-day event for Oxford's own PGCE programme, and working with Teach First participants.