Obituary

7th August 2009 at 01:00

David Stimpson, who has died at the age of 94, was principal of Dundee College of Education for 20 years until 1979.

Throughout his life he combined a clear, thoughtful, incisive and meticulous skill with understanding, humanity and pastoral and sensitive concern for the development and welfare of others.

Born in Dalmuir in 1915, Stimpson spent his early life in the Clydeside of two world wars, influenced by a good Christian upbringing which sustained him on his journey through life.

His formal education started at Dalmuir Primary, continuing at Clydebank High, where he was junior and senior dux. He attended Glasgow University, graduating with first-class honours in classics and history in 1936. He attended Jordanhill College, and a distinguished career in education commenced.

Certificated in primary and secondary education, he taught at various schools in Dunbartonshire and Glasgow.

The war years then intervened, and Stimpson was called to serve in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. While serving from COD Donnington, he was caught in the Clydebank Blitz of March 1941. He later served in New York and Washington DC, rising to the rank of major in 1943.

From 1945-51, he was a lecturer in education at Jordanhill College, thereafter taking up the appointment of assistant principal at Dundee College of Education. When he was appointed principal in 1959, he was one of the youngest in the country.

Stimpson set about establishing the reputation of the college as a centre of excellence in the training of teachers and, in the early 1970s, he was asked to plan for a new expanded college; in 1976, the Gardyne Road campus was opened by the Queen Mother.

During his years as principal, the BEd degree was introduced, in collaboration with Dundee University. According to The TESS at the time, it was the only Scottish BEd degree to measure up to the concept of the Robbins report.

Stimpson was recognised nationally as one of the most visionary thinkers in education. He was at the forefront of research into educational priority areas, and promoted the training of teachers under the Commonwealth Bursary Scheme. He published the Stimpson report and established the foundations for an all-graduate teaching profession. He was also a founder member of the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

David Stimpson had the gift of sharing his erudition to the benefit and development of others, with a graciousness and pastoral interest in all. He had many interests, from school rugby and Boys' Brigade soccer to golf, music, art and theatre. He enjoyed travelling and his choice of travel reflected the classicist, historian, humanitarian and man of Christian faith.

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