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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Tribute to 'brilliant husband' Sir David Hart

One of the most respected figures in the world of education has lost his six-month battle with cancer.

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‘Exceptional’: Sir David Hart who died aged 72

Sir David Hart OBE, died at the Eden Valley Hospice in Carlisle yesterday. He was 72.

Sir David, who was general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers for 27 years until his retirement in 2005, was knighted in 2006 for his services to education.

A keen horseman he was married to Frankie, a former Caldbeck school headteacher, for 17 years. He had two sons James and Jeremy, both in their 40s, from a previous marriage and four grandchildren.

Speaking shortly after his death Lady Hart described the 20 years she had known David as the “happiest of her life”.

She said: “He was a brilliant husband. We had the most wonderful marriage. He was my soul mate – we were inseparable.

“His work with the NAHT was highly recognised. It was said that he helped it to punch well above its weight. He was also acknowledged internationally.”

In his leisure time Sir David was an accomplished horseman and eventer. The couple, who lived at Hesket Newmarket, kept horses at their home. David’s “pride and joy” Applejack 2 was Olympic-qualified but was unable to compete last year in London because of a leg injury.

After being knighted in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2006 Sir David said he was “amazed, delighted and honoured”. He said the association had played a part in making sure the role of headteachers was recognised as being vital to the future of the education.

Sir David was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year. He spent time in the Eden Valley Hospice earlier this year returning there on Monday of this week – just three days before his death.

A qualified lawyer, he worked as a consultant in employment law for Beaty and Co in Wigton. Lady Hart said this was job he greatly enjoyed right up until his death.

He was a governor at St Bees School in west Cumbria and a director of Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland.

Funeral arrangements are still to be finalised.

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