A TEACHER has been honoured by one of the world’s leading universities thanks to a former pupil.

Carol Holmes, assistant headteacher at Westhoughton High School, has been recognised as an “inspirational teacher” by Oxford University for encouraging and supporting her pupils.

The history teacher is only one of seven in the country to have received the award designed to acknowledge teachers from state schools and colleges who support pupils to apply for a place at the university.

Ms Holmes was nominated by first-year Oxford student Jonathan Martindale, who is studying philosophy, politics and economics at Christ Church.

He said: “I came from a small sixth form connected to a state secondary school that hadn’t sent a student to Oxford for around 17 years.

“Aside from her already busy role as head of sixth form, Ms Holmes was willing to further spend a considerable amount of her time personally supporting me through the Oxford application process.

“She was very encouraging regarding an application I remained uncertain of. After all, what were the chances I’d get in? I think it is fair to say that without Ms Holmes’ dedication I very literally would not be here typing this up today. Ms Holmes said: “It is an honour to receive this award, particularly as it is based on student recognition.

Encouraging students to realise their potential is why I feel teaching is such a rewarding career.

“The success of a student like Jonathan is down to a team effort by many teachers”

Ms Holmes was honoured by the university’s Vice- Chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton at a ceremony at Jesus College where she was presented withthe University of Oxford Inspirational Teachers Award.