John Beattie, former Association of Teachers and Lecturers' president and chair of England's General Teaching Council, was this week awarded the union's highest honour.
The Exeter assistant principal and English teacher is only the fourth person in the association's history to receive the ATL Fellowship in recognition of his union work and contribution to education. Previous recipients include Peter Smith, the union's former general secretary.
Judith Rowley, ATL president, presented Mr Beattie with his award. She said: "Despite his renown in the education world, he has still managed to remain down to earth. To sum it up - he is just a lovely person."