January 18, 2017 at 02:21AM
My mother, Frances Sandy, who has died of cancer aged 67, was a teacher who cared deeply about her family, her pupils and the political activism she hoped would help forge a better world. For those causes, nothing was too much effort.
In 25 years of working with young children, mainly at Willington school in Wimbledon, her dedication came from her heart and a conviction that every child mattered. She was conscientious, compassionate and fun. She had a wonderful ability to identify a child’s potential and devise a strategy to bring it out. When a pupil had difficulty understanding a concept, she would turn herself inside out, sometimes for months, until they grasped it.
Born in Corsham, Wiltshire, Frances was the daughter of Herbert McKeeman, an RAF aircraft engineer, and his wife, Frances (nee Houston). She had a peripatetic childhood that yielded happy memories from homes as far flung as Cyprus and Singapore.
After finishing her schooling in Singapore, she moved to London, where she worked in administration at the Crown Agents. She met Robert Sandy, an electronics engineer, at a house party in 1969. They were soon engaged, and married within a few months. They moved north and she studied social sciences at the University of Manchester, then worked as a civil servant at the Equal Opportunities Commission.
Family was her priority and she gave up work to raise my sister, Emily, and me. In 1990, after we were both at school, she did a postgraduate certificate in education at Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey, and worked in several schools in south London. In 2010, she and my father moved to Hove, where she tutored local children and volunteered for the Labour party, her enduring political cause. As branch secretary in Hove, she worked closely with Peter Kyle before his 2015 victory, a rare seat that Labour won from the Tories.
The MP, who paid tribute to her instrumental role in his campaign, remembers one wet, miserable afternoon when a stream of volunteers returned to his office with undelivered leaflets. That day my mother was the last to come back, drenched and empty handed, asking for “one more batch then I’ll call it a day”.
It capped a lifetime of political activity, from CND marches in her youth to those against the 2003 war in Iraq. She lived the values she believed in.
In later life, she did a master’s degree in educational psychology at the Institute of Education, now part of University College, London.
She is survived by Robert, Emily and me, by her older brother, Michael, and by her grandchildren, Clementine and Nathaniel.
from Education | The Guardian http://ift.tt/2iI6VLP