Maths teacher, Peter Marks is one of only a handful of teachers from around the UK to be honoured with the ‘University of Oxford Inspirational Teachers Award’. The accolade recognises the crucial role teachers play in encouraging talented students in their schools and celebrates the inspiration, support and encouragement provided by these winning teachers. The Ilfracombe Academy is the only school in the country to have two teachers who have been honoured this way. Peter’s colleague, Joy Humphrey, also won the award in 2015.
Peter was nominated for this award by former students Michael Fuller (Pembroke College studying mathematics) and Noah Turner (Biochemistry). In their citations, both Michael and Noah praised Peter saying “Mr Marks’ dedication towards his subject was second to none surpassing any other teacher. He is always willing to give his expert advice and selflessly devoted an incredible amount of his own time into making sure each of his students reaches their highest potential. Before applying, I would not have labelled myself as an Oxbridge student but Mr Marks saw potential in me insisting I apply and helped me during the UCAS application. Mr Marks’ teaching and support is one of the reasons I am at Oxford”.
After learning of his award, Peter said “I am honoured to be receiving this award and for something I love doing. In my role as a teacher, I consider it a privilege to help students achieve their dream of a university education and to help them prepare for the next stage of their life. I am one of those fortunate people who goes home knowing that I can make a difference and am flattered that my students are so appreciative and nominated me for the award.”
The winning teachers are invited to attend an awards ceremony in May, held at the University of Oxford. Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton said: ‘Oxford devotes a great deal of energy and effort to encouraging all those with the ability and potential to apply here, regardless of background – but teachers play a crucial role in supporting and raising the aspirations of the most capable students year on year throughout their careers. I hope this award will send the message that students and universities recognise how valuable the role of a supportive teacher can be.’