Rotherham man who devoted his life to education suddenly passes away

A Rotherham man who devoted his life to education in South Yorkshire has passed away.
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John Coleman, from Rotherham, died suddenly at home on Friday, February 25, with a number of tributes paid to him in the wake of his death.

Mr Coleman, dedicated his life to public service and education, starting out as a teacher before training to become an educational psychologist.

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He then served as the principal educational psychologist st Sheffield City Council in the 1990s and early 2000s.

John Coleman, a Rotherham resident, gave his life to serving education.John Coleman, a Rotherham resident, gave his life to serving education.
John Coleman, a Rotherham resident, gave his life to serving education.
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He was then moved to the Department for Education as a regional director of the National Strategies Programme, which was a Labour government initiative aimed at supporting under-performing schools in the UK.

Later, he became the commissioner for special education needs at Rotherham Council, before retiring in 2015.

After retiring, Mr Coleman was an active volunteer for Nexus Multi Academy Trust – a local schools trust in the area.

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He also worked in a voluntary capacity with the National Governance Association, which continued his lifelong commitment to changing state education for the better.

"John’s sudden death is as shocking as it is sad,” said Warren Carratt, CEO of Nexus MAT.

“He was a colossus of the education system, playing a key role in the development of local and national policy to support children getting the best education they can. John had a huge intellect that he committed – throughout his whole career – to public service.

"John was an architect of Nexus MAT and played a pivotal role in governing our schools. He was a restless, relentless agitator for making the lives of our learners be the best they can be.

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“Personally and professionally, I have learned so much from John and I will miss him terribly. He was – he always will be – an irreplaceable human being, whose energy and generosity of spirit will act as a continued inspiration to us all.

“Thank you for all you did in your life, John. You helped change the world for the better, one life at a time, with your generosity of time and spirit.”

As well as being a volunteer at Nexus MAT, Mr Coleman was also chairman of the management committee of the Rowan Centre, which is a pupil referral unit in Rotherham.