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A voice for unity

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".

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.

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