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Last update: 27/05/2012


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David Buckland

It was with great sadness that we learnt of David Buckland's passing in February 2009.

This is an informal page of condolence set up immediately after we received the news.   If anyone would like to add to these, please feel free to contact Helen who will add them to this page.

Arrangements for a remembrance service and celebration of his life are on a document here. (Weds 4th March).

Donations welcome to the Loquax Foundation via Loquax Languages. Cheques made payable to 'Loquax Languages' - Marked Foundation on reverse 


I have just received the very sad news via ALL that David Buckland who has given distinguished service over many years to MFL as a teacher, adviser, trainer and writer died yesterday. He was always in touch with what was going on on the various fora.   Although I probably only actually met him about a dozen times, I would still definitely class him as a 'friend'. Such a nice man encouraging .. and  teased me in a delightful way about all my electronic activity .. ! I'll really miss him. Helen Myers.

Maureen DeLonghi writes 'this is what I would have said to him if I had had the chance' ....

Dear David, It was a devastating shock when I heard that you had passed away. You were so fit and healthy, you had just taken early retirement, and I was so surprised when you turned 60 – you certainly didn’t look it! On a professional level – you were my mentor. Your constant pushing and encouragement made me the teacher that I am – although I sometimes pretended that you were driving me mad with your endless enthusiasm! I remember when we worked with one of my classes in the days before you wrote the MFL Strategy first time around. You were a perfectionist and your endless advice forced me to be the best that I could be. The work you have done for Modern Language teaching put us on the agenda and raised the bar for everyone. Your tireless efforts to improve the quality and standards of teaching and learning in MFL have had an enormously positive effect across the profession. I know that I would not have achieved anything that I have achieved professionally were it not for your support, guidance and encouragement. On a personal level – you were my friend. Your dry sense of humour, the supply of biscuits, not to mention your constant teasing, made all of our meetings fun, and I was so looking forward to being able to socialise with you away from the constraints of work. I can’t believe that you’re gone. The world of MFL has been robbed of one of its greatest and most brilliant allies. But wow – what a legacy you’ve left behind! Thank you David. God Bless you. Rest in Peace. Maureen

Graham Davies writes:

This is very sad news. I first met David Buckland around 25 years ago. We collaborated on a number of projects, mainly materials to accompany my Fun with Texts package. Since then we have always been in close touch on new developments in ICT and MFL. He was a great guy, an excellent linguist, and an inspired teacher and MFL adviser, and he had a wicked, dry sense of humour. He was recently doing some great work on producing training materials for potential primary French teachers. I will really miss him. I wish to convey publicly my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.  My two daughters, Siân and Francesca, and my wife Sally knew him too and have also expressed their sadness and would like to pass their condolences onto his family and friends.

Kathryn Abram writes:

Yes, it is very sad news indeed. David was also working for Comenius London as KS2 consultant and KS3 Regional Trainer and I shall miss him very much. He was fantastic to work with, so thoughtful, kind, talented and enthusiastic.

Heather Rendall writes:

I cannot begin to convey my shock at the news. David was one of the original MFL ICT advisory teachers who were seconded in 1988 to bring ICT - at the time still not universal and still experimental in education - to schools. If I remember correctly there were just 10 of us under the guidance of Sue Hewer & MESU and some of us were still in there 20 years later spreading the word. But David 's expertise was not confined to ICT. His partnership with Jeff Lee was to see the publication of the important and influential The Invisible Child and the detail of the MFL KS3 Strategy. It is always shocking to hear of a friend's death but that we should have lost someone so vital, with still much to contribute makes it doubly painful. My most heartfelt sympathies to his family and close friends. Heather

From Sharon Mangion:

My sincere condolences go to David's family. I had met him briefly while on my PGCE placement in Dagenham seven years ago where I had attended a day's workshop he organised for gifted and talented students. David was very encouraging about my research done at the time and he had given me some invaluable advice particularly when discussing a research project he had undertaken with my placement school - 'The Invisible Child.' It is something I think about everyday when teaching and has made me a better teacher for it. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Sharon

Martine Pillette writes:

I had known David for more than 15 years and in recent years especially we had worked together on several projects - no more so than in the last eight months when the renewal of the KS3 Framework had put us in almost daily contact. I need not tell you about the gap David leaves behind. When we worked together we always did our best, but he always put in that extra passion and I learnt so much from him. He always approached his work with the most sincere and wholehearted dedication. I admired his knowledge, his talent and his commitment, but the man was equally wonderful. In the last eight months, although our work was complex there had not once been a cross word or a moment of irritation between us. That's the man he was. Working with him, being with him was always so easy. There was always a smile, there was always a joke - not to mention the little treats he used to bring me back from his trips to France. I always looked forward to our meetings (not just for the treats - I promise). I am glad the very last comment he heard about his work was one of the most informed and one of the most cheering he could have hoped for (thank you Catherine). I miss him.

A tribute from Jee Lee:

David worked with me in Barking and Dagenham LEA from 1996 to 2005. He was the most committed, enthusiastic and loyal colleague one could have asked for, whether working with teachers in our local schools or involved with national projects and materials. He also became one of my closest friends with whom working on even the most challenging of tasks was a genuine pleasure. He tackled every task with immense care and concentration, seeking to ensure that any advice, training or materials offered to teachers and indeed to fellow advisers were – in his phrase – as fireproof as he could make them. He delighted equally in helping experienced teachers to develop their skills and also in welcoming recently trained teachers to our schools and seeing them launched. Team meetings with David and with Jenny Carpenter were highly intensive, always hugely productive and often interrupted by gales of laughter, to the bemusement and perhaps the envy of more sober-minded colleagues nearby. That David should have been taken from us now, when he was still giving and had so much more to give, is a tragedy which must be unbearably painful to his delightful family and which I know will be hurting all those who worked with him. He had the great talent of making people feel that they were valued and that in David they had not just a colleague but a friend who had their interests at heart. He set us all the highest of professional examples, and he helped me personally during some very hard times. In a way that will be understood by all who knew him, David will always be around.


Maurice Denis writes to Maureen:

I was looking at my photos of the last time we all went out together. I found it quite uncanny to look at David's ... it seems so unfair ... so soon ... so early ... he had just set himself up with new exciting challenges that he probably perceived as incentives to further his ambitions for MFL teaching. It's all over ... what a waste ... what a loss! Thanks David, bye for now.


From Alison Edwards:

I have known and admired David since I first became a languages adviser over 10 years ago. He was always a source of inspiration to me in my local authority work and I was honoured when he asked me to help out in Barking and Dagenham while he was on secondment to the DfES as it was then. I knew I could never replace him in the schools there, but I did my best to come up to his very high standards and help both teachers and learners of languages. Then more recently I’ve worked with him on our KS3 Dissemination and Development Programme while I’ve been on secondment myself, and trained with him on several occasions. He was just as inspiring in large gatherings of colleagues as he had been in small groups and I learnt a great deal from him. When we then had the opportunity to renew the KS3 Framework, the National Strategies immediately thought of asking David to be involved. This gave me the opportunity to work very closely with him over the past year or so and what a privilege that has been! He was thorough and careful about every aspect of what he wrote, making very careful choices of individual words before incorporating them into the objectives. The Framework is very nearly completed and is with the DCSF for sign off. David leaves a true legacy for teachers and learners of languages for generations to come and as I believe someone has already said, the languages world is a poorer place without him. I can’t possibly omit to mention the other side of David which I knew, that is the kind and supportive friend who always listened and took time to give helpful feedback when it was needed. And of course there were the shopping stories we shared! I believe he is the only male colleague I’ve met who could “outspend” me during the lunch hour while at a meeting in CILT’s Covent Garden premises! I miss him very much and shall continue to do so……………..

Alison Edwards – Programme Lead for MFL – National Strategies