A TEACHER who returned to work after being diagnosed with three types of cancer was among the winners at the Telegraph & Argus School Awards last night.

Nazrul Islam, who teaches at Feversham Primary School, received one of the biggest cheers of the night when he was announced as Nursery/Primary Teacher of the year.

He was just one of 11 winners at the awards ceremony, which is held every year to recognise the good work that goes on across the District's schools.

EDITOR'S COMMENT: Awards shone light on some great work

Other winners were Carlton Bolling College, which was given the School Improvement Award for moving from special measures to outstanding in just a few years, and Janet Thomas, whose 42 year career at Canterbury Nursery led to her being named Support Staff Member of the Year.

Held at the Aagrah Midpoint in Thornbury, the School Awards have been running since 2014, and were set up by the T&A with the support of Bradford Council and local education providers.

Last night the packed crowd, made up of teachers, school staff and representatives from Bradford Council and local businesses, heard a the inspirational stories behind the 33 people and schools that had been shortlisted for the awards.

Among the speakers on the night were Michael Jameson, strategic director of children's services, who said: "Bradford is the youngest city in the UK, and these young people are out biggest asset."

Pauline Hagan, CEO of the New Collaborative Learning Trust, was keynote speaker on the evening, and spoke about the importance of social mobility - pointing out how important it was to reach children in the city from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The trust will be opening New College Bradford, a new sixth form college in the city centre, next year.

Mr Islam, who has been treated for three types of cancer and suffered a stroke in recent years, had also been nominated for the Business in Schools Award, for his work on Dragons' Den style enterprise projects in his school.

After being named Nursery/Primary Teacher of the Year he said: "I am lucky to be here. The reason I went back to work is because I love the job. I want to carry on teaching as long as I can."

He told the T&A: "It is a great honour to get this award. I love the job so much."

Gaynor Bainbridge, who teaches at Southfield special school, was named Secondary Teacher of the Year. She helps make the transition from primary to secondary school easier for pupils, and she dedicated her award to the work done by special schools across Bradford.

Carlton Bolling College won the School Improvement Award for the rapid turnaround that has seen it go from being put into special measures in 2014 to being rated Outstanding by Ofsted late last year. The award was accepted by Tony Griffith, who runs the school's boxing academy - one of several initiatives the school is running to better engage young people in education.

Gill Edge, head of Killinghall Primary School and who has been teaching in Bradford for 38 years, won the Leadership Award. She said the children in her school made her look forward to going into work every day.

Natalie Gregory, of Parkwood Primary in Keighley, was named Newcomer of the Year. When asked what advice she would give to anyone considering entering the teaching profession, she said: "Go for it! It's an incredible job."

Janet Thomas's 42 years at Canterbury Nursery helped her secure the Support Staff Member of the Year Award. She has been working at the nursery since the week of her 18th birthday, and dedicated the award to "Team Canterbury."

Lindsey Wharmby, a governor who has seen Ilkley Grammar School go through a number of major changes in recent years, won the Governor of the Year Award.

St Edmund's Nursery and Children's Centre, which also runs a teacher training school, won the Achievement Award. The nursery has over 280 pupils, and has been judged outstanding by Ofsted three times in a row. It was also responsible for helping to train two of the three teachers shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year.

Ozuma Hussain, who started volunteering at Thornbury Academy after taking part in a teaching assistant course at the school, won the Voluntary Contribution Award, receiving a huge ovation when her name was announced.

The Ahead Partnership's Integrated Bradford scheme, which runs the Make the Grade programme in seven schools in the district, won the Business in Schools Award for its efforts to get as many young people as possible looking at the world of business and developing their employability skills.

And Eldwick Primary School's Adult Learning Class, which provides vital learning skills for adults and parents, won the Community Involvement Award, with Jackie Rosano picking up the award.

The T&A will be publishing a Schools Awards supplement in Tuesday's paper, featuring interviews with winners, more stories from the evening and a full set of pictures of the event.