My friend Rachel Gibbons, who has died aged 90, spent much of her working life serving the now defunct Inner London Education Authority (Ilea), striving to improve maths teaching in the capital and in the UK in general.

“Ray” as she was widely known, began working for Ilea as head of maths, before becoming deputy warden at Ilea’s Ladbroke Maths Teachers’ Centre and then an Ilea inspector, in which post she challenged and supported teachers to provide lessons that lifted maths off the page for children of all ages and ability. I took over Ray’s post at Ladbroke Maths Teachers’ Centre and she became my inspector, in which role she was a friend, a colleague and my conscience. Strong, stubborn and principled, she was also excessively hard working and was a truly remarkable woman.

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