Martyn Rouse obituary

Other lives: Professor of educational and social inclusion who helped teachers with learner diversity in the classroom

My husband, Martyn Rouse, who has died aged 76 of complications from multiple system atrophy, had a long career in education that culminated in his work as professor of educational and social inclusion at the University of Aberdeen, where he directed the Inclusive Practice Project, a Scotland-wide initiative designed to help teachers to take account of learner diversity in the classroom.

Martyn was born in Smethwick in the West Midlands, to Gwendoline (nee Jones), a sales assistant at Rackhams department store in Birmingham, and Bob Rouse, a jeweller turned refrigeration engineer.

After attending Holly Lodge grammar school for boys in Smethwick, he trained at Trent Park College of Education in London to be a drama teacher, and began teaching at Enfield grammar school in 1970, remaining there until 1984, finishing up as head of what was then called the remedial department.

From 1984 to 1986 he was an advisory teacher at Stevenage Teachers’ Centre in Hertfordshire, before being appointed as a tutor at the University of Cambridge Institute of Education (now the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge), where he worked with colleagues to develop a part-time master’s degree in education – the first-ever part-time degree at Cambridge. In 2006 he moved to Scotland to take up his post as professor of educational and social inclusion at Aberdeen University.

Apart from his work there with the Inclusive Practice Project he travelled to countries in Central Asia, eastern Europe and the Balkans to provide advice on how to improve educational opportunities for children with disabilities through teacher development, collaborating with bodies such as the British Council, Unicef and the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education. He co-edited the book Learning to See Invisible Children: Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Central Asia, published in 2013.

Five years ago, when Martyn was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy, he faced up to the challenge with all the intellectual aplomb that had defined the other chapters of his life. He willingly took part in research to generate knowledge about his condition and gave consent for the University of Edinburgh Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences to use his brain tissue in studies after his death.

Martyn always derived great pleasure from life. His warmth and generosity, his wit and eclectic interests, his love of food, wine, the arts and sport propelled him to travel, to entertain, and to stay close to our large extended family.

We married in 1995. He is survived by me, our children, Samuel and Heloise, our grandchildren, Joshua, Theodore and Esmée, and his brother, Robert.

Lani Florian

The GuardianTramp

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