THE EDUCATION world has paid tribute to Carol Adams, the founding chief executive of England's General Teaching Council, following her death from cancer.
Lord Puttnam, chair of the council in the organisation's infancy, described her as an "energetic and courageous woman" who was not afraid to fight for what she believed in. "It's very, very sad," he said. "She was enormously energetic and committed to making a success of the GTC. She battled to create a sense of credibility and value for the teaching profession."
Ms Adams was recruited to set up the council in 2000 and spent seven years as its leader. She turned the fledgling organisation into a national council involved in policy and research, with a register of 500,000 teachers and a strong disciplinary role.
Before joining the council, Ms Adams was chief education officer, first in Wolverhampton and then in Shropshire. She had trained initially as a history teacher, teaching at inner-London comprehensives from 1970 to 1975.
In the latter half of the 1970s, she was employed at the Tower of London, setting up an innovative education programme.
During the 1980s she worked as an equality adviser for the Inner London Education Authority, publishing a series of books and articles on curriculum development and equality in education.
David Hart, former general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "I am very sad indeed. I knew her very well. The GTC was subject to criticism by those who should have known better, but the profession wanted it for years, to give teaching the same status as law or medicine."
David Blunkett, who was Secretary of State for Education from 1997 to 2001, also paid tribute to Ms Adams. He said: "It is very sad that Carol should not have been able to enjoy a well-earned retirement. She contributed enormously at a crucial moment to the development of leadership skills and professionalism for the teaching profession and will be sorely missed."
Judy Moorhouse, the chair of the GTC, said: "She oversaw every aspect of the development of the GTC, instilling a great sense of determination to succeed and working tirelessly to promote high standards of teaching.
"She was also tremendous fun to work with, though we sometimes had difficulty keeping up with the pace she set."
Ms Adams, who was 58, leaves two children, Joe and Amy. Her funeral took place yesterday.