Gordon Cunningham began his career as a teacher before becoming an education officer in Lincolnshire, Shropshire, then education director of Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire.
He moved to London in 1977 to become education officer for the Association of County Councils, a post he held until he was forced to step down for health reasons in 1989. He retired to Spain with his second wife Kathryn, but continued to work with schools and had a regular programme on local radio in the Costa Blanca.
Brian Oakley-Smith, his former deputy in Cambridgeshire, said: "He was much respected for his lack of pomposity and his no-nonsense Scottish approach to his work. His stamina was legendary."