Alf Headley started his secondary education in 1919 at the Central Secondary School,
Sheffield, but after only a year he moved to Morpeth Grammar until he left,
From here, he became a non-Collegiate student at Oxford from 1926 to 1929,
where he gained a 3rd Class Honours BA in History. He stayed on a further year to
do a postgraduate teaching course, and in 1930 he had his Oxford University Teaching
His first teaching position was at Rishworth School, just west of Huddersfield,
which he left after two years in July, 1932, having also gained his MA from Oxford.
With this qualification, he joined the staff at the South
Shields High School in September, 1932. Having left to
do War Service from 13th August, 1941, he rejoined the school
on 26th February, 1946, eventually becoming Deputy Headmaster
in September, 1966, following W Harding.
Alf Headley, more usually known to the boys as "Pan" Headley, was always
a dapper figure with immaculate diction (he gave Speech Training classes) and a superb
singing voice (he was a member of the Consett Citizens' Choir). Although he was a
keen sportsman, he was also a heavy smoker. John West recalls:
When I was experimenting [with smoking] in the sixth-form I recall having quite
a civilised conversation with him about the merits and demerits of Benson &
Hedges which Pan said contained too much saltpetre!
Yet Pan Headley was a very private man who commuted 25 miles every day from his home
He retired in July 1970, and died towards the end of 1976.