A Richmond Park Academy teacher beat competition from 20,000 nominees to win a Pearson Silver Teaching Award.

Director of performance faculty Jack Costello, who has worked at the school since 2002, will attend the UK Teaching Awards at London’s Guildhall on October 26, where 10 silver winners will receive a gold award.

Mr Costello, whose second child was born just days before the award was announced, was nominated privately by his colleagues.

At a special presentation assembly he said: “It was a complete surprise that I was entered, it was all very covert really.

“It’s very humbling and strange to be singled out, because I think this is a reflection of the whole school and the great work the staff are doing.”

The Pearson teaching awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and open to every school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Headteacher Lesley Kirby said: “Jack is one of those rare people who are always cheerful, and it has a huge effect on the children.

“He really is a fantastic teacher.”