John Sayer obituary | Education and learning

My father, John Sayer, who has died aged 91, was a headteacher, a vice-chair of the Standard Instructing Council of England and Wales (GTC), and an educator who was passionate about international cooperation amongst universities.

He was born in Romford, Essex, to Hilda (nee Salmons), a bookkeeper, and Arthur Sayer, a railway clerk. A keen choirboy at Boxley church, he later sang bass solo in choirs wherever everyday living took him.

John gained an open up scholarship from Maidstone grammar in Kent to Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1951, to read through French and German. His love of Racine led many years afterwards to his publications Jean Racine: Existence and Legend (2006) and Jean Racine: Echoes Throughout Europe (2020). At university he joined the Labour occasion and remained a lifelong member, even though he stopped active campaigning right after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

He also joined a pan-European scholar movement, Amical, where by he met Ilserose Heyd, from Hamburg College. The team exchanged strategies and crossed borders peacefully to the connect with of “Vive L’Europe!”. John and Ilserose married in 1955 at the Friends’ conference household in Oxford.

John’s way of earning the environment a superior position was as a result of education. He taught French and German at Itchen grammar university, Southampton (1955-59), and was head of German, deputy head, and headteacher at colleges in Somerset, right before becoming principal of the huge, multi-website Banbury faculty (component of which is now Wykham Park academy) in Oxfordshire in 1973.

In 1979, he was elected president of the Secondary Heads Association (now the Affiliation of Faculty and College or university Leaders). He campaigned for a GTC all through the 1980s and was one particular of its founders in 1988, getting its vice-chair in 1994. His reserve, The Basic Instructing Council, was printed in 2000.

He ongoing his function, as director of the education management unit at the University of London (1985-91) and as a study fellow at Oxford University’s office of training (from 1990), the place he produced the programme Educational facilities for Democracy in Europe. There, in 1991, he became project director of Trans-European Mobility Programmes for College Scientific studies (Tempus), an initiative that encouraged cooperation concerning better schooling institutions in European nations inside and exterior the EU, in his circumstance Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Russia.

As a result of his operate with Tempus he turned an honorary professor at Perm Point out College in Russia in 1995.

Ilserose died in 2020. John is survived by their youngsters, my brother Christopher and me, and grandchildren, Jamie, Jennifer and Dominic.


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