Dyslexic teacher Edward Vickerman was told he would never have a future in the classroom. But last night the 26-year-old proved his critics wrong by winning a national award for the UK's outstanding new teacher of the year.
Mr Vickerman, head of business at the Freeston Business and Enterprise College in Normanton, west Yorkshire, has never hidden his dyslexia from his pupils. He gets round any problems by using new technology in lessons rather than communicating by writing.
"I was told I could never be a teacher, so this award is for anyone like me who is dyslexic and wants to teach," he said. The colleague who nominated him for the award said: "He is the most talented, exciting and enthusiastic teacher we have ever had, with skills way beyond our expectations."
Having struggled at school himself and switched careers – he has a degree in hotel management – Mr Vickerman says he is determined all his pupils should have the opportunity to succeed.
He was one of 11 teachers and one school to pick up "Plato" awards at last night's ceremony at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London. Other winners included male primary school teacher Steve Mills, deputy head of William Ransom school in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Dan Walton, of St John's Catholic School in Gravesend, Kent, was named secondary school teacher of the year.
The primary school headteacher award went to Angela Palin of St Mellion Church of England school, in Saltash, Cornwall. The secondary school headteacher award was won by Liz Quinn, of Stourport High School and Sixth-Form Centre, Worcestershire. Spyros Elia, of Brindishe and Hither Green primary schools in Lewisham, south-east London, won the governor of the year award.