John Pritchard, headteacher at Rednock secondary school in Dursley, near Stroud, had to break the news to 1,200 pupils in assembly. He said of Mr Cotton, 41: "He cared passionately about the school, the students and the community in which he lived and worked. He will be greatly missed."
Mr Cotton, who lived at the school, was a national executive member of Unison, the public sector union. He was travelling to a union meeting from Stroud. Other casualties from the world of education included Shaun Donoghue, 45, a statistician at the National Foundation for Educational Research, and Simon Wood, 40, a governor at Liss Junior School, Hampshire.