Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In memory...

David Williams

David Williams, one of the earliest presidents of SHA, in 1978-79, passed away peacefully on 14 May at the age of 80. He is remembered with great affection, respect and gratitude for the mark he left on the association.

David was among the generation of heads who led through a remarkable period of transition from selective to comprehensive schooling and, among secondary heads, from the century-old single-sex professional associations AHM and HMA, to a new requirement to be unionized and then to SHA.

He was head of Carlisle Grammar School when Cumbria moved towards comprehensive schooling, and it was he who led the school and its two secondary modern neighbours into Trinity Comprehensive School in 1968.

It was from Trinity that David came to HMA Council, which still retained the pre-war tradition of a largely grammar and independent school body.

He was elected president-elect of HMA in 1977, at the moment it became clear under new legislation that the professional association must also become a union, and that a single-sex union was out of the question. This gave impetus to the marriage of HMA and AHM, which so many had wanted anyway.

As president-elect, David contributed with his customary balance and calm to the tasks of amalgamation. All this was at the time when he was making a career move, after nine years at Trinity School, returning south to head Devizes School.

The amalgamation not only brought two organisations together with their different traditions (while narrowly avoiding becoming a laughing stock as HAHA) but set the solid foundations which have made ASCL what it is today.

John Sayer, SHA President 1979-80

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