Gulf War veteran set to lead school revival

New Forge Valley School headteacher Dale Barrowclough.
New Forge Valley School headteacher Dale Barrowclough.

A former Gulf War veteran is aiming to lead the revival of a Sheffield secondary school.

Dale Barrowclough will take over at Forge Valley at Stannington after the Easter break, moving from a position as deputy head at Thornhill Community Academy, which was featured recently in the Channel 4 series ‘Educating Yorkshire’.

The Scot became known on the award-winning programme as one of the Dewsbury school’s stricter teachers - but was described by staff as having ‘a chocolate heart’.

Mr Barrowclough entered teaching after 13 years in the RAF, serving on the front line in the first Gulf War and completing tours in the Falkland Islands, Hong Kong and Cyprus.

“My RAF service taught me the need for respect, teamwork and discipline, and a clear sense of organisational mission,” he said.

Forge Valley - the controversial merger of Myers Grove and Wisewood secondaries in 2011 - was placed in special measures by Ofsted a year ago.

Since then it has been taken under the wing of the Tapton family of schools, and converted to academy status earlier this year.

Mr Barrowclough said: “It is my intention that Forge Valley will come to represent only the highest of standards and one which raises the ambitions and aspirations of all our pupils.”

The new head pledged that he will work with the school’s governing body and with its staff to cover “all aspects of school improvement, including the way the school engages with parents and the local community”.