WHEN Dominic Vernon took over as head teacher of St Vincent’s Primary in Penketh in 2017, the school was experiencing declining pupil numbers after being told it needed to improve by Ofsted.

Two years on the Finlay Avenue school has been transformed and has just been rated as good, thanks to initiatives such as bring a loved one to lunch which have improved staff and parent relationships as well as the educational needs of the children.

Those who nominated Dominic say thanks to his inspiring leadership and dedication it is now a happy school with an amazing buzz and a fantastic vibe – somewhere pupils and parents are excited to be part of.

And on Thursday, he was named teacher of the year in the 2019 Warrington Guardian Inspiration Awards.

Dominic said: "The journey that this school has been on in the past two years has been incredible and it has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of it.

"I accept this award not on my behalf but on behalf of the amazing team of people who made the vision of our school a reality and the wonderful children who bring it all to life.

"I'd also like to say a huge thank you to my wife and two little girls. Teaching is a wonderful career but it takes over your life and so I couldn't do what I do without their support.

"I'm only a small part of the team and the transformation of the school has been the result of hard work and dedication from a huge number of people.

"This award is on behalf of the staff, pupils, governors who have made a massive difference to St Vincent's Catholic Primary School and it is their award.

"I hope to take the school from strength to strength.

"The Ofsted rating of good is just the beginning now, we have been on a journey for two years and this is the start of the next chapter and the sky is the limit."