AT a time when teachers and teaching standards come under increasing criticism, it’s reassuring to see a local teacher winning a top national award.

Carol Holmes, assistant head at Westhoughton High School, has just been officially named as an “inspirational teacher”, one of just seven in the country to receive an award.

She was nominated by a first-year Oxford student, an ex-Westhoughton High pupil who highlighted Carol’s willingness to spend time with individuals to help them achieve their academic aspirations.

Typically, Carol puts such student successes down to “team effort”, but her award only shows again the difference that one teacher can make to his or her students. It’s also a welcome opportunity to showcase a good example of the many local teachers who try to do this every single day of term.