Brian Banks, City College Plymouth’s access to biology lead, was named as one of the nation’s most inspirational teachers at the Pearson National Teaching Awards on Sunday (October 20).

Originally from Belfast Brian, 49, has been at City College Plymouth for five years and during this time has been praised by colleagues and students alike for his infectious enthusiasm and passion for teaching biology.

On receiving his award, Brian said: ‘It feels wonderful and difficult to take in. It’s a major award — the biggest award for teachers in the country. I’m one of a crowd of people at the college who work their backsides off. I am delighted for the college and the students as it is a real measure of how good they do.

‘Within the college’s Access to Higher Education team there are some superb lecturers and I think because we’re dealing with adults, we don’t always get the recognition we deserve.

‘But these adult learners are going to be some of the top paramedics, the top nurses and top legal people when they pass their qualifications, so we’re taking all this wonderful untapped talent and putting it back into society.

‘What we’re doing is important and the people I work with are fantastic.’

College principal and chief executive Jackie Grubb said: ‘Brian is an exceptional role model to his students and colleagues and I am delighted that he has been recognised with this prestigious national award. Brian’s commitment, support and inspirational approach to teaching and learning make him a highly respected lecturer whose energy is infectious. His lessons are extraordinary and his techniques and inventiveness are now legendary at the college.’

The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC2 on Saturday (October 26) ‘Britain’s Classroom Heroes’.

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