Twelve teachers recognised for role in inspiring students to Oxford success


Twelve inspirational teachers have been honoured for their work in encouraging and supporting their pupils to win places at Oxford University.

Twelve inspirational teachers have been honoured for their work in encouraging and supporting their pupils to win places at Oxford University.

The teachers were nominated for their awards by the students they inspired. The youngsters all attended state schools and colleges with a limited history and tradition of sending pupils to Oxford – and they are now first-year undergraduates at the university.

Nupur Patel, for instance, was inspired to study history and French at Lincoln College, Oxford, by Andy Hull, head of the 6th form at Swakeleys School in Hillingdon, west London.

“I feel very privileged to say he was my teacher,” said Nupur. “He taught me one of the most important lessons in life – to always strive to achieve my ambitions and not let anything stop me from doing so.”

The teachers were presented with University of Oxford Inspirational Teachers Awards by Professor Andrew Hamilton, the university’s vice chancellor, at a special ceremony in Oxford last month.

Paying tribute to them, Prof Hamilton 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.”

Mike Nicholson, director of undergraduate admissions, added: “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 Inspirational Teachers (pictured above from left):

  • Victoria Ellis, head of geography, Swanwick Hall School, Derbyshire.

  • Karen Kelly, philosophy teacher, Wootton Upper School, Bedford.

  • Tim Johnson, history teacher, Redruth School, Cornwall.

  • Andy Hull, head of 6th form, Swakeleys School, Middlesex.

  • Philip Hickman, head of music, Pool Hayes Arts & Community School, West Midlands.

  • Jill Smith, maths teacher, Mildenhall College, Suffolk

  • Miriam Evan, Russian teacher, Presdales School, Hertfordshire.

  • Jo Rodell-Jones, head of 6th form, St Simon Stock Catholic School, Maidstone.

  • Anthony Pagett, psychology teacher, Manshead School, Bedfordshire.

  • Simon Collings, head of 6th form, Boroughbridge High School, Yorkshire.

  • Christopher Collins, biology teacher, Tendring Technology College, Essex.

  • Dyfed Bellis (not pictured), maths, Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw, Pontypool.


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