Thousands were nominated, but a teacher from Chesterfield came out on top as they were named one of the nation’s most inspirational teachers.

Alex Bramley, a teacher at Spire Junior School, has won a Pearson National Teaching Gold Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School.

He was presented was his award on The One Show on BBC One this evening, November 24.

Alex has been described as “one of the most innovative, enthusiastic and creative teachers in the country”.

He has previously bought a broken vending machine off eBay, repaired it and filled it with free books and hot chocolate as rewards for pupils.

Going the extra mile for his pupils, he has also used a tennis ball catapult for pupils to run after and answer revision questions, and even endures “Bushtucker trials” if his class hit their goals, eating crickets and mealworms in assemblies.

Alex Bramley has previously bought a broken vending machine off eBay, repaired it and filled it with free books and hot chocolate as rewards for pupils.
Selected from thousands of nominations, Alex Bramley has been named as one of the nation’s most inspirational teachers, winning a Pearson National Teaching Gold Award.
The Chesterfield teacher bought a broken vending machine and filled it with books and hot chocolate to reward his class. (Image: Teaching Awards)

Alex said: “It is an absolute honour to be recognised. Teaching is not just a profession; it is a way of life, we simply never switch off, whether it’s planning and resourcing a lesson, delivering food parcels for a family in need, or eating crickets in assembly to encourage your class to read.

“I am fortunate to have a very supportive head teacher who allows his staff to try new things, learn from mistakes and lets the creativity blossom.

“I have always wanted to be a teacher. To make a difference to children’s lives and help prepare them for their future, but I guess part of me just never wants to grow up – as the staff at school say – I’m just a big kid.

“Now more than ever it is so important to celebrate and recognise teaching as a profession; during these unprecedented times teachers across the nation have gone above and beyond to ensure the education and wellbeing of children continues.”

Alex has also organised the Pride of Chesterfield awards to work with the local community and help pupils understand the world around them.

Alex Jones, Presenter of the One Show, said: “We are so thrilled to have Alex on the show and to thank him for his incredible work! We all know the value of a great teacher, and Alex has proven himself to be both outstanding and inspirational. There has never been a more important time to celebrate the hard work that happens in our schools across the country, and we are delighted to do our bit to thank them.”

Each of the Pearson National Teaching Award Gold Award winners has repeatedly gone above and beyond their role to change the lives of their students and help them move towards a brighter future.

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “We have long known the impact that one superb teacher can have, the young people they can inspire and the lives they can change. But this past year has shown us all, more than perhaps ever before, the true value of teachers.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “A massive congratulations to this year’s gold award winners – teachers and school staff truly deserve the national recognition for the work they do to motivate, inspire and support pupils day in, day out.

“This year has been like no other, and it is because of schools’ hard work that millions of pupils are able to be in the classroom receiving an outstanding education. I would like to thank every single teacher and staff member for what they have done for our children.”

The Pearson National Teaching Awards, which are now in their 22nd year, are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they teach.