A HEADTEACHER from Bolton has been shortlisted for a teaching 'Oscar'.

Martin Knowles, principal of Essa Academy, is in the running for this year's prestigious Pearson's National Secondary School Headteacher of the Year.

Known as the 'Oscars' of the teaching profession, the Pearson National Teaching Awards are an annual celebration of excellence in education, recognising the amazing work of teachers across the UK.

Scores of those in teaching profession are nominated but only a few are shortlisted.

Martin Knowles

Martin Knowles

Mr Knowles has been head of the Great Lever based school for nearly four years, and under his leadership the school is now in the top 20 per cent nationally for pupil progress and is oversubscribed.

He was nominated by the senior leadership team for the "magic" he has brought to the school.

Jen Sidebottom, Vice Principal of Essa Academy said “Martin is a leader like no other. His sole purpose is to better the life chances and improve the lives of the children he works for. Martin has a tireless drive to provide an outstanding education through an exceptional and unique school experience and curriculum offer, encompassing all parts of a child’s development both personal and academic. Martin’s vision is that ‘all will succeed’.

"Martin has transformed Essa Academy and the community he serves. He is an exceptional leader who is modest, compassionate and never settles for anything other than the best. He does not accept recognition for his work easily, and therefore it is through this application we wish to give back to him, to recognise the incredible impact he has had on the future generation."

Award judges will now interview staff, student and parents. The shortlist of Silver winners will then be announced in June, and the Gold award winners later.

Martin said: “I am completely humbled by this achievement. This is testimony to the amazing hard work of everyone involved at Essa Academy. "We are on an incredible journey and this further compounds Essa Academy’s rapid improvement over the past few years. This is recognition for all of the staff and students ­— their hard work has made the school the special place it is today.”