Dumfries Academy

Dumfries Academy

Coordinates: 55°04′16″N 3°36′40″W / 55.071°N 3.611°W / 55.071; -3.611

Dumfries Academy
Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
Type Comprehensive Secondary
Established 1804
Head teacher Kenneth Glendye
Teaching staff 50.
Number of students 700 approx.
School Colour(s) Maroon

Dumfries Academy is one of four secondary schools in the town of Dumfries in South West Scotland.



Dumfries Academy has existed in its present form, though not in the buildings it currently occupies, since 1804. However, its history dates back to the 14th century, making it the earliest school in the Dumfries area.

Early records show that John of Greyfriars, a monk, was appointed rector of a new school in Dumfries in 1330. Being a church school it concentrated on the study of religious texts, but in the centuries which followed other schools built in the town which taught subjects such as Brewing, Mathematics, English, Baking and Needlework became integrated into the Academy building.

The Academy operated as a grammar school for those in Dumfries deemed academically gifted as based on exam results until July 1983.


The current uniform of Dumfries Academy consists of a white shirt, black/grey trousers or skirt, a plain maroon jumper or cardigan and a maroon and white striped tie.Due to increasing pressure from pupils, as of January 2011 the wearing of a black jumper or sweatshirt was included in the school uniform. During the 2006-2007 academic year, a senior tie consisting of a black background with white and maroon stripes, and including the school crest, was introduced, along with an optional maroon blazer for girls and boys.

Dumfries Academy today

The Academy has been a six-year comprehensive school since July 1985 serving part of the Burgh of Dumfries and surrounding rural communities, with an average roll of over 700 pupils and around 50 teaching staff. Students are placed into one of three houses in their First Year; Criffel, Nithsdale and Solway.

The curriculum comprises subjects in the fields of Arts & Creativity, Health, Food and Nutrition, Language & Literacy, Mathematics & Numeracy, the Sciences, Social Subjects and Technology.

Notable former pupils

Dumfries Academy plaque of notable pupils
  • Sir J.M.Barrie - writer of Peter Pan attended the school from 1873, and it was here where his first play Bandelero the Bandit was performed by the Dumfries Amateur Dramatic Club in 1877.[1]
  • Rev. Dr. Henry Duncan, founder of the first savings bank
  • Sir James Anderson, who captained the SS Great Eastern on the Transatlantic telegraph cable laying voyages in 1865 and 1866
  • Sir James Crichton-Browne, eminent psychiatrist and President of the Medico-Psychological Association
  • James Oswald Dykes, ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in 1859
  • Jane Haining, Church of Scotland missionary who ultimately lost her life to the Nazis rather than betray her convictions
  • Sir Alexander Knox Helm, civil servant who held several important diplomatic posts
  • Dave Halliday, one of the highest goalscorers in UK football history and manager of Aberdeen to the Scottish League championship
  • John Laurie, actor famous for Dad's Army
  • Robin Philipson, artist
  • John Hanson, singer
  • Dougie Sharpe, Scottish Football League internationalist
  • Maurice Elliott, professional footballer
  • Alex Graham, cartoonist best known for the Fred Basset series
  • Jock Wishart, who in 1998 set a new world record for circumnavigating the globe in a powered vessel
  • Neil Oliver, archaeologist and author best known for his television work on the BBC series Coast and Two Men In A Trench
  • Stephen Jardine, TV presenter
  • Barry Nicholson, Scottish International Footballer
  • Davie Irons, professional footballer and manager
  • [[Ian Gibson (politician)]
  • [[Derek Lawson (legend)]
  • Roger White, CEO of soft drinks group A G Barr
  • Stephen Halliday, CEO of international energy & metals consultancy organisation Wood Mackenzie
  • Don Peattie, ex professional association footballer and now Head of Sport at City of Sunderland College
  • Ben Trueman, semi professional hitman and part time mystic


Among the achievements of Academy pupils are:-

    • Winners of numerous sports awards including Scottish Champions in Football, Badminton, Golf, Judo, Mountain Biking and Rowing
    • Winners of the Motorola Youth Parliament Competition four times
    • Debating Champions of Scotland
    • CBI and Motorola Award winners for Enterprise Education
    • Robert Gordon's University Modern Studies Award for Scotland
    • Pushkin Prize for Writing

In 2005, William McGair, History teacher at the Academy, was awarded the Scottish Daily Record Gold Award for Inspirational Teacher [2]

See also

External links


  1. ^ http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5138
  2. ^ http://www.nationalpriorities.org.uk/Resources/Miscellaneous/ScottishEducationAwards/SEA2003/SEA2003-12.html

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