Peter Marks at Ilfracombe Academy has been awarded a University of Oxford Inspirational Teacher award

A long-serving Ilfracombe maths teacher has won a rare Inspirational Teacher award from the University of Oxford.

Peter Marks, who has taught at Ilfracombe Academy since 1986, is one of only a handful of teachers from around the UK to be honoured in such a way.

The award recognises the crucial role teachers play in encouraging talented students in their schools and celebrates the inspiration, support and encouragement they provide.

Ilfracombe Academy is the only school in the country to have two teachers who have received the award. Peter’s colleague, Joy Humphrey, also won the award in 2015.

Peter was nominated by former students who are now studying at Oxford, 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.