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."