Tributes to former Burnley headteacher

David Clayton

David Clayton

First published in News
Last updated

A FORMER headteacher who taught at Burnley schools for 36 years has died.

David Clayton rose through the ranks after joining Burnley Grammar School in 1965 as a history teacher. He eventually became deputy head of pastoral care, before taking on the same role at Habergham High School when the grammar school merged with Burnley High School for Girls.

Mr Clayton, 77, then became headteacher for the final 17 years of his service at Habergham, before retiring in 2001.

He lived in Brinscall, near Chorley, and died on Thursday night after being in poor health since May when he suffered a bleed on the brain, following a mini stroke towards the end of 2013.

His close friend Paul Jennings was a teacher at Burnley Grammar School when Mr Clayton joined, and retired at the same time as him.

He said: “He was a very private man but he was a great public face for the school.

“He was passionate about teaching and about his students, he wanted what was best for them and to give them straight forward teaching, rather than any fancy new initiatives.

“When he became headteacher I was his deputy head, and in 15 years I can only remember one disagreement.

“We had a good relationship, we would talk things through and come to decisions.

“He was a superb headteacher, a great boss and a very good friend."

After retiring Mr Clayton, who did a teaching scholarship at Oxford, wrote history books, including one about the Hayward Grammar School, in Bolton, and also one called the Lost Farms of Brinscall Moors.

He was also passionate about music, and sang in a choir in Bolton called the Brixi Singers.

"We used to walk together a lot after he retired,” said Mr Jennings. “We would walk long paths in the Lake District, and David had walked all 214 Wainwright hills and mountains."

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:58pm Sun 31 Aug 14

cooperc says...

Both Mr. Clayton & Mr. Jennnings taught me as a boy - both terrific and inspirational teachers. I suspect a generation, like me, who passed through the Grammar will have fond memories.
Both Mr. Clayton & Mr. Jennnings taught me as a boy - both terrific and inspirational teachers. I suspect a generation, like me, who passed through the Grammar will have fond memories. cooperc
  • Score: 31

4:37pm Sun 31 Aug 14

Minnie the moocher says...

I went to Habergham High and I was an atrocious, disruptive student, as a result of my troubled home life. Mr Clayton was supportive, caring, non judgemental, firm but fair. So much so, I moved from Pendle to Padiham so my eldest daughter could attend there. He was also her Head teacher. He led an inspirational, nurturing team of staff and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. A gentle man. RIP.
I went to Habergham High and I was an atrocious, disruptive student, as a result of my troubled home life. Mr Clayton was supportive, caring, non judgemental, firm but fair. So much so, I moved from Pendle to Padiham so my eldest daughter could attend there. He was also her Head teacher. He led an inspirational, nurturing team of staff and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. A gentle man. RIP. Minnie the moocher
  • Score: 43

9:34pm Sun 31 Aug 14

Minnie the moocher says...

By the way, he wasn't Head at the school the LT has used. It was on Byron St, NOT the old grammar school in Burnley pictured. Come on LT, if you haven't got the correct photo, don't use any. It's not rocket science, just lazy.
By the way, he wasn't Head at the school the LT has used. It was on Byron St, NOT the old grammar school in Burnley pictured. Come on LT, if you haven't got the correct photo, don't use any. It's not rocket science, just lazy. Minnie the moocher
  • Score: 15

10:54pm Sun 31 Aug 14

unbearableswot says...

There are teachers in your life who make a real difference, and David Clayton was one of them. He led Habergham with energy and passion. We recently lost an actor who played an inspirational teacher, and it wouldn't be out of place to think of our "Sir" as "our captain" too. He championed so many of us. Thank you Sir.
There are teachers in your life who make a real difference, and David Clayton was one of them. He led Habergham with energy and passion. We recently lost an actor who played an inspirational teacher, and it wouldn't be out of place to think of our "Sir" as "our captain" too. He championed so many of us. Thank you Sir. unbearableswot
  • Score: 19

9:40am Mon 1 Sep 14

townendm says...

If only every teacher could have been like Mr Clayton. He made a difference in many ways whilst I was at the Grammar School and I regret that I only had the pleasure of being taught by him for one year during my three at BGS. As deputy head, for me, he was more the leader of the school than our actual headmaster and "firm but fair" is exactly right. I'm sure we called him "Stan" though I can't recall why. BGS was a good school but Mr Clayton raised it to another level. As CooperC says, there will be many fond memories of Mr Clayton from many of the students who had the good fortune to know him.
If only every teacher could have been like Mr Clayton. He made a difference in many ways whilst I was at the Grammar School and I regret that I only had the pleasure of being taught by him for one year during my three at BGS. As deputy head, for me, he was more the leader of the school than our actual headmaster and "firm but fair" is exactly right. I'm sure we called him "Stan" though I can't recall why. BGS was a good school but Mr Clayton raised it to another level. As CooperC says, there will be many fond memories of Mr Clayton from many of the students who had the good fortune to know him. townendm
  • Score: 6

12:15pm Mon 1 Sep 14

manchester1 says...

Minnie the moocher wrote:
I went to Habergham High and I was an atrocious, disruptive student, as a result of my troubled home life. Mr Clayton was supportive, caring, non judgemental, firm but fair. So much so, I moved from Pendle to Padiham so my eldest daughter could attend there. He was also her Head teacher. He led an inspirational, nurturing team of staff and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. A gentle man. RIP.
Just curious...are you atrocious, disruptive now? I only ask because if it was down to you troubled home life has that behaviour carried on in to your later life?

Ta
[quote][p][bold]Minnie the moocher[/bold] wrote: I went to Habergham High and I was an atrocious, disruptive student, as a result of my troubled home life. Mr Clayton was supportive, caring, non judgemental, firm but fair. So much so, I moved from Pendle to Padiham so my eldest daughter could attend there. He was also her Head teacher. He led an inspirational, nurturing team of staff and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. A gentle man. RIP.[/p][/quote]Just curious...are you atrocious, disruptive now? I only ask because if it was down to you troubled home life has that behaviour carried on in to your later life? Ta manchester1
  • Score: -8

1:59pm Mon 1 Sep 14

siansofia says...

manchester1 wrote:
Minnie the moocher wrote:
I went to Habergham High and I was an atrocious, disruptive student, as a result of my troubled home life. Mr Clayton was supportive, caring, non judgemental, firm but fair. So much so, I moved from Pendle to Padiham so my eldest daughter could attend there. He was also her Head teacher. He led an inspirational, nurturing team of staff and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. A gentle man. RIP.
Just curious...are you atrocious, disruptive now? I only ask because if it was down to you troubled home life has that behaviour carried on in to your later life?

Ta
I think we should leave this as a page that commemorates and respects Mr. Dave Clayton.

Great headmaster, great man. Always had time for all of us at Habergham and especially for extra-curricular activities. I remember him being in the senior choir and attending various music events our school had put together. Habergham always felt like a proper place of learning when he was in charge. RIP sir.
[quote][p][bold]manchester1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Minnie the moocher[/bold] wrote: I went to Habergham High and I was an atrocious, disruptive student, as a result of my troubled home life. Mr Clayton was supportive, caring, non judgemental, firm but fair. So much so, I moved from Pendle to Padiham so my eldest daughter could attend there. He was also her Head teacher. He led an inspirational, nurturing team of staff and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. A gentle man. RIP.[/p][/quote]Just curious...are you atrocious, disruptive now? I only ask because if it was down to you troubled home life has that behaviour carried on in to your later life? Ta[/p][/quote]I think we should leave this as a page that commemorates and respects Mr. Dave Clayton. Great headmaster, great man. Always had time for all of us at Habergham and especially for extra-curricular activities. I remember him being in the senior choir and attending various music events our school had put together. Habergham always felt like a proper place of learning when he was in charge. RIP sir. siansofia
  • Score: 4

6:54pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Minnie the moocher says...

manchester1 wrote:
Minnie the moocher wrote:
I went to Habergham High and I was an atrocious, disruptive student, as a result of my troubled home life. Mr Clayton was supportive, caring, non judgemental, firm but fair. So much so, I moved from Pendle to Padiham so my eldest daughter could attend there. He was also her Head teacher. He led an inspirational, nurturing team of staff and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. A gentle man. RIP.
Just curious...are you atrocious, disruptive now? I only ask because if it was down to you troubled home life has that behaviour carried on in to your later life?

Ta
No, I'm now a self made, responsible working (in education) parent. I have used many of Mr Clayton's approaches to challenging behaviour in my work.
[quote][p][bold]manchester1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Minnie the moocher[/bold] wrote: I went to Habergham High and I was an atrocious, disruptive student, as a result of my troubled home life. Mr Clayton was supportive, caring, non judgemental, firm but fair. So much so, I moved from Pendle to Padiham so my eldest daughter could attend there. He was also her Head teacher. He led an inspirational, nurturing team of staff and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. A gentle man. RIP.[/p][/quote]Just curious...are you atrocious, disruptive now? I only ask because if it was down to you troubled home life has that behaviour carried on in to your later life? Ta[/p][/quote]No, I'm now a self made, responsible working (in education) parent. I have used many of Mr Clayton's approaches to challenging behaviour in my work. Minnie the moocher
  • Score: 4

6:56pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Minnie the moocher says...

townendm wrote:
If only every teacher could have been like Mr Clayton. He made a difference in many ways whilst I was at the Grammar School and I regret that I only had the pleasure of being taught by him for one year during my three at BGS. As deputy head, for me, he was more the leader of the school than our actual headmaster and "firm but fair" is exactly right. I'm sure we called him "Stan" though I can't recall why. BGS was a good school but Mr Clayton raised it to another level. As CooperC says, there will be many fond memories of Mr Clayton from many of the students who had the good fortune to know him.
We used to call him "Stan Clack" as a term of endearment.
[quote][p][bold]townendm[/bold] wrote: If only every teacher could have been like Mr Clayton. He made a difference in many ways whilst I was at the Grammar School and I regret that I only had the pleasure of being taught by him for one year during my three at BGS. As deputy head, for me, he was more the leader of the school than our actual headmaster and "firm but fair" is exactly right. I'm sure we called him "Stan" though I can't recall why. BGS was a good school but Mr Clayton raised it to another level. As CooperC says, there will be many fond memories of Mr Clayton from many of the students who had the good fortune to know him.[/p][/quote]We used to call him "Stan Clack" as a term of endearment. Minnie the moocher
  • Score: 2

9:02pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Centre Half says...

Stan Clack......just a brilliant inspirational teacher!
Stan Clack......just a brilliant inspirational teacher! Centre Half
  • Score: 2

9:05pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Centre Half says...

Can't say anything other than "Stan" was a brilliant inspirational teacher. RIP
Can't say anything other than "Stan" was a brilliant inspirational teacher. RIP Centre Half
  • Score: 2
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree