A SOUTH Lakeland teacher has been honoured in Oxford University’s Inspirational Teachers Awards after being nominated by one of his former pupils.

Robert Blyth, who teaches at Dallam School, Milnthorpe, was one of only seven teachers in Britain to receive the accolade following his nomination by first-year Oxford student Damian Hahnloser.

The awards were presented by the university’s vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton.

A selection of current first-year Oxford undergraduates were asked to nominate teachers or careers advisors for the award.

They were asked to nominate teachers who inspired them to apply to Oxford, fostered their passion for a particular subject or supported them through the application process.

The students were all from selected UK state schools or colleges with a limited history and tradition of sending students to Oxford.

In his testimonial, Damian, who is now studying Economics and Management at Balliol College, described Mr Blyth as ‘a mentor, a motivator, a guide to the future and a friend’.

He said: “When I came from Germany, as a frustrated 15 year old student with less than average grades I hoped to finally find some personal gain and satisfaction in education.

“As I started my studies Rob challenged me and my views, took the subject beyond the class room and expanded our classes’ horizon to engulf not only subject matter but the world as a whole.

“Rob motivated everyone, and especially me, to engage in further reading, which was to become hugely important in my Oxford interview. The daunting journey of applying to Oxford with Rob’s support was shared agony, shared worries, a shared dream and ultimately became shared success! I deeply want to thank him by writing about my experiences with him as a truly inspirational teacher.”

Mr Blyth said: “It was a huge honour for him to nominate me for the inspirational teacher award. It was entirely unexpected as I feel I was doing no more than is my job for all students, to allow them to release their potential.

“The accolade should really be Damian's, but in that I helped, I feel it is the recognition of potential, identifiying the goal and supporting the work towards that goal that we offer.”