Alasdair Mackintosh

The dedicated senior education officer who gave outstanding service to education in Edinburgh and the Lothians has died, aged 65

Frank McGrail

Alasdair Duncan Mackintosh, who held several senior education posts in both Lothian and Edinburgh, died suddenly at home in Cramond on 26 April.

Alasdair was born and brought up in London, but after his school years he moved to Scotland to study classics at the University of Edinburgh. He switched to the study of history and it was in a history tutorial class that he first met Vivien Inglis, whom he married in August 1970. Alasdair and Vivien had two children, Philip and Katharine. His family enjoyed his encouragement, laughter and love.

Family was always at the centre of Alasdair's life, and in his retirement he delighted in his grandchildren Joshua and Sophia, the children of Katharine and Liam. He was looking forward to the birth of Philip and Jenny's baby in the next few weeks.

After his graduation, Alasdair began his career as a class teacher in London. Following a period as a graduate trainee in the Lanarkshire County Clerk's department, he entered educational administration, holding posts in East Sussex and then Cambridge.

In 1978 Alasdair returned to Scotland as an assistant divisional education officer in Lothian Regional Council and he and Vivien settled permanently in Cramond.

In time he became assistant director of education in Lothian Region, and at local government reorganisation in the 1990s he joined the newly created City of Edinburgh Council. He became finance manager and neighbourhood liaison officer with responsibility for all schools in North Edinburgh until his retiral in August 2005.

He brought a wealth of experience to the new authority and encouraged new colleagues to learn from the best practice of "the Lothian days". Involved with schools from all sectors, he tackled a wide variety of issues with relish and vigour. One of his proudest achievements was establishing the Gaelic unit at Tollcross Primary.

He was a well-rounded man. Travel, music, literature, bridge, learning languages, playing golf and supporting Hearts through thick and thin were just a few of his passions.

Those who were privileged to work with him discovered quickly that he was also passionate about his work. He sought to ensure that Edinburgh's children received the finest quality education by setting himself and his colleagues uncompromisingly high standards.

Headteachers in his schools and his colleagues in "headquarters" admired Alasdair's integrity, ability, and dedication. Colleagues also remember "Ally Mack"`s many individual kindnesses and his genuine care and interest in the welfare of both staff and children. As a result, Alasdair was not only highly respected, but also greatly loved.

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Frank McGrail

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