Outwood’s Caring Headmaster



People who know Mr James M. A. Waggott, headmaster of Outwood Secondary School, will know
that he speaks with sincerity when he says, “If I had my time to come again I should still go in for teaching.”

His enjoyment of his chosen profession is so apparent. especially when he is speaking to or about his pupils, that it would be difficult to imagine him in any other role than that of a schoolmaster.

That role he has filled enthusiastically and successfully for the past 43 years, in six schools, and each of these schools has made its mark on him in a different way

A native of Ryton on Tyne. County Durham. where in his youth the was an enthusiastic sprinter and Rugby Union player, Mr Waggott began his teaching career there in 1922 and stayed long  enough to steer his school to victory in the Durham Rugby Union Cup competition.

In 1926 he came to Yorkshire and taught at Rothwell Council School. as it was then, until 1932. They were six very happy years, as is obvious when he talks about his stay there.
They were great kid’s at Rothwell and i still see some of my former pupils.I had to change football codes, they played soccer at Rothwell. We had some first rate teams. I have a great affection for Rothwell.

Then in 1932 he was appointed to his first headship at Lofthouse Council School, where he found a great tradition for cricket. He is proud of the fact that many members of Lofthouse Cricket Club, learned the game at his school.

From 1944 to 1947 he was headmaster at South Hiendley and Ryhill Secondary Modern School. where the lads, “They were a tough lot. living in a tough area. but I enjoyed my stay there very much.” specialised in soccer. boxing and athletics. and were no slow-coaches on the academic side either.

Then in 1947 he came to Wakefield as headmaster at Manygates Secondary School, which as well as giving him great delight in the prowess of the Rugby League and swimming teams. enabled him to enjoy one of his favourite hobbies, producing Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

"I've always been keen on Gilbert and Sullivan and Manygates gave  me some wonderful opportunities to produce these shows" he said. every year we seemed to be able to find good singers and actors. 

Outwood Secondary School, of course gave Mr Waggott other opportunities. He took over as head when the school opened in 1956 and,starting from scratch the school, with its friendly but hard working atmosphere. Reflects very much the character of its headmaster.

There is no doubt that Mr Waggott‘s attitude to his pupils is reflected in their attitude to him. and when he goes into retirement at the end of this week it will be a retirement tinged with many happy memories not only for him, but also for hundreds of people in Rothwell, Lofthouse, South Hiendley, Wakefield and Outwood.

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