Teacher is up for a top award

Teacher John Ireland with principal of St John Rigby College Peter McGhee
Teacher John Ireland with principal of St John Rigby College Peter McGhee
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HAVING already won the regional title of Further Education Teacher of the Year in the North, pupils from St John Rigby College are asked once again to show their support for their teacher John Ireland as he now aims for national honours.

He is currently waiting to find out if he has been successful at the National Pearson Teaching Awards on Sunday October 28 which will be broadcast on BBC2.

It is a star-studded ceremony held in London and hosted this year by Clare Balding.

There, the shortlisted teachers will compete for the coveted Pearson Plato Award.

PE tutor John was nominated no fewer than 20 times by different students at his college, such is his tremendous popularity.

And colleagues say he exhibits the same overwhelming passion and enthusiasm for teaching that he had 32 years ago when he first began his career at the Orrell seat of learning.

He was nominated by past and present St John Rigby College students and parents by their posting a record number of special thank-you messages posted on www.thankateacher.co.uk website.

Many famous rugby players have come under his tutelage over the years, including Joe Lydon and Mike Gregory at the start of his tenure right up to current stars Darrell Goulding and Lee Mossop.

The 59-year-old said that he is hoping to make a weekend of it with his family.

John added: “I’m very excited but also it is very humbling to be nominated for this award.

“I obviously want to do the college proud as it is only because of them that I’m in this position and under the new management I have been given so much support.

“I want to stress that I can’t even take myself seriously but I do take this process very seriously.

“No doubt there are many teachers across the country who can do a better job than me, I don’t for one minute think I’m going to be the best sixth form teacher if I win this but I believe that the process is very important and one hopes for a positive outcome.”