Obituary: Willi Bremner, teacher, 66

A teacher and youth club leader who helped influence changes to the national curriculum has died aged 66.

Willi Bremner, who was born and lived in Leith, was said by those who knew him to be a champion who helped pupils who struggled in the school system.

During his own school years, Mr Bremner attended the "senior secondary" Leith Academy.

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He then went on to teach in East Kilbride, David Kilpatrick School in Leith, and Craigmount, Forrester and Boroughmuir high schools and Wester Hailes Education Centre, which at the time was a radical new community school.

The teacher also developed his caring approach and leadership skills through leading the Scouts and managing the youth club at the Capital's St James Episcopal Church.

Linked to his church-going, he enjoyed bell ringing as well as walking up Scottish hills and mountains.

A year as a volunteer in a very deprived area of Liverpool was instrumental in forming his educational philosophy, which was to put the welfare of children, particularly those with difficulties, to the top of his priority list.

Returning to Edinburgh, Mr Bremner got heavily involved in Cephas Youth Club at the West End, where hundreds of children visited every night. He became responsible for managing these children, often helping young people with learning and behaviour difficulties, which he juggled with his day job at the United States Consulate.

Fresh out of university, Mr Bremner started at Wester Hailes Education Centre, where he helped create a guidance system in 1986 involving all teachers in pastoral care.

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After a report into this system, called More than Feelings of Care, Mr Bremner became a national curriculum development officer, and was known for his ideas and energetic nature.

During a period when he acted as the headmaster of Boroughmuir High School, he would avoid excluding badly behaved pupils. Instead he would work with them to change. He even accepted unruly pupils who had been excluded from other schools to help them. Although it was not always a popular strategy with staff, Mr Bremner pushed it because he felt the needs and development of young people were most important.

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Mr Bremner married Dorothy Marr, a fellow educationalist, and was devoted to his family.

After he retired he took up numerous new hobbies, including learning how to design websites. He went on to do this for charities across the world, using an international team managed by e-mail.

Mr Bremner is survived by his wife and his children, John and Wendy, and his grandchildren.