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  1. ITV Report

Global Teacher Prize winner Andria Zafirakou returns to school for first time since Dubai ceremony

A teacher has returned to her school for the first time since winning the $1 million Global Teacher Prize.

Andria Zafirakou was greeted by hundreds of pupils as she returned to Alperton Community School in Brent, London, on Wednesday.

The pupils, holding artwork and waving Union flags cheered as she walked in, holding the prize.

The art and textiles teacher beat 30,000 people from 170 countries to be named the most inspirational teacher in the world at a ceremony in Dubai.

She is the first teacher from the UK to win the prize.

Pupils told ITV News that Ms Zafirakou is "kind and helpful" and they were "ecstatic" she won the prize.

One pupil said: "She helps you and supports you and makes sure you know what you're doing."

"I'm home!" an emotional Ms Zafirakou told ITV News. "This award is not just for me, it's for them as well. It is such a great representation of who they are and what this means to our community, I'm just so happy."

Pupils greeting their teacher with handmade signs. Credit: ITV News

Ms Zafirakou won the prize for her efforts working in one of the most diverse and deprived communities in the UK.

She has learned how to say basic greetings in many of the 35 languages spoken at the school, including Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil and Portuguese, to help parents feel welcome and included.

Andria Zafirakou at the ceremony. Credit: AP

She also helped to set up clubs and societies for students and helped make the curriculum relevant to pupils' lives.

Ms Zafirakou takes time to understand her students' lives such as visiting them at home and taking the bus with them and liaises with community police officers to keep her pupils' safe.

Collecting the prize at the ceremony, she said: "To all the students all over the world I say, whatever your circumstances, whatever your troubles, please know that you have the potential to succeed in whatever your dreams may be and that is a right that nobody should take from you."