Old-world radical with lots of cheer

25th February 2000 at 00:00
OBITUARY TUDOR DAVID, former editor of Education, will be remembered not only for his professionalism and as an "old-fashioned radical", but as the cheerleader of the infamous cabarets at the Council of Local Education Authorities.

Mr David who died aged 78, on February 21, was a pioneer of educational journalism. Born and schooled in Barry, Glamorgan, he took a special interest in Wales, where he was influential in the reorganization of secondaries in the mid-1980s.

Chris Waterman, general secretary of the Society of Education Officers, recalls his choral cabarets at the CLEA annual conference: "He had the ability to unite members and officers of all parties in a spirit of camaraderie. The butt of his humour was usually the Department for Education." After editing the National Union of Teachers' magazine The Teacher, in 1972 he became editor of Education, then journal of the Association of Education Committees. Professor Jon Tomlinson, former chief education officer of Cheshire, describes him as "an old-fashioned radical with a passion for equality of opportunity, comprehensive education and special needs. He had an impish habit of asking awkward questions." He retired as editor in 1986 with an OBE (to his surprise), but remained active in the educational world.

Neil Harris, director of education in Caerphilly, recalls his annual visits to the Society of Education Officers Wales conference. "Whenever I think of Tudor, I smile. It was suggested that some chiefs took leave for fear of what he might write the next week."

His first wife Nancy David was a special needs teacher, who featured in an award-winning television documentary Gail is Dead; they had a son Martyn and daughter Glenwyn, who went on to be head of education at the BBC. After Nancy's death in 1984, he married Margaret, a primary teacher in Tower Hamlets.

George Low

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