AN INSPIRATIONAL deputy head has been named the country's best primary school teacher.

A televised award ceremony, which was screened on BBC2, saw Andy Silvester win the 'primary school teacher of the year' category in the Pearson Teaching Awards.

Mr Silvester, who works at Crowmarsh Gifford CE Primary School near Wallingford, was one of 13 winners honoured for inspirational work and outstanding achievements in the classroom.

The national awards are in their 20th year and celebrate outstanding teachers and teaching across the UK.

The annual ceremony is broadcast on BBC2 as Britain’s Classroom Heroes, and this year's aired at the end of last month.

Mr Silvester, who is a Year 6 teacher and deputy headteacher at Crowmarsh, was nominated for the accolade by pupils, parents and colleagues from his school.

A statement released by the award organisers said: "Andy not only helps children progress academically, but also socially and emotionally.

"He pushes every child to be their best, tapping into their confidence and truly preparing them for life beyond primary school.

"He has a relentless drive to improve his practice to ensure the very best for every child in his care."

An entry on the award ceremony's website adds: "Andy Silvester truly puts children at the heart of everything he does.

"When you walk into his classroom, passion and inspiration seep from every corner."

It also praised Mr Silvester for facilitating a 'phenomenal shift' in staff workloads, meaning that teachers no longer take books home to mark and can instead 'focus on what matters'.

Pearson said one former pupil is in the process of writing a book, which would be dedicated to Mr Silvester.

Children's author Michael Morpurgo, president of the Pearson's Teaching Awards, said: "Teachers are the quiet heroes.

"By telling their stories, by highlighting their skill and dedication, we can do some justice to them and to the whole profession.

"Through the Teaching Awards, we hope to enhance the reputation and value of the teachers in our lives, their importance in our society, and thus help to encourage the most talented and committed young people to become teachers."

Rod Bristow, president of Pearson UK, added: "Life-changing education is the result, above all else, of great teaching.

"These Teaching Awards offer us the opportunity to pause and honour our teachers."

For information about nominating a teacher next year, visit