The principal of a Somerset college has been named on of the country’s most inspirational school leaders.

Dr Paul Phillips has won a Pearson National Teaching gold award for lifetime achievement.

The Weston College boss received the accolade from Alex Jones on BBC One’s The One Show on Friday evening.

Dr Philips has transformed Weston College during his time there.

In 2017 he was recognised as one of seven national leaders of further education and last year he was named TES further education leader of the year.

And in 2015 the college was named TES Further Education College/Overall Provider of the Year.

Aside from his own students, he leads prisoner education in 19 prisons across the country involving 11,000 learners, with a positive impact on re-offending with those involved, and has built positive mental health partnerships with the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire NHS Trusts.

Dr Phillips said: “I was thrilled to receive the Pearson Gold Award for Lifetime Achievement on Friday evening.

“My career has spanned business, industry and every phase of education.

“Further education has dominated my career and it is an absolute privilege to work with so many talented staff and governors in order to transform the lives of so many learners.

“This award is for Weston College and the inspirational teaching and learning that takes place every day creating brighter futures for all who cross our many doorsteps.

“It’s our inclusivity, diversity and agility with SEND at the heart of all we do, with that added ‘sparkle’ that sets us apart.”

Alex Jones told viewers during the presentation on Friday: “We are so thrilled to have Paul on the show and to thank him for his incredible work.

“We all know the value of a great teacher, and Paul has proven himself to be both outstanding and inspirational.” Rod Bristow, president of Pearson UK, said: “Congratulations to Dr Paul Phillips and all of our wonderful gold award winners on their success.

“They have all displayed the most fantastic dedication to this superb profession and truly deserve to have their hard work recognised in this way.”

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