As leader of the National Union of Teachers, he had a difficult job trying to balance its warring factions while attempting to project a united voice on behalf of the profession. Perhaps such a task is impossible. Only last month, he acknowledged (with characteristic wit) that the union's annual conference "would never be Richard and Judy". But he was a unifying figure who spoke up for teachers all over the world, and he will be sadly missed.
The teaching community is never more united than when it shares a collective loss. The untimely death of Steve Sinnott has struck a chord with many in the profession. A comment posted on The TES website summed up the feelings of many who knew him personally, describing him as "a kind, gracious and extremely funny man".
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