A popular head teacher, who was a leading light in converting Largs High School into the full six year comprehensive, has passed away at the age of 79.

William Inglis was head teacher of Largs Academy for generations of schoolchildren in the Largs area, having served from 1972 until 1994.

He has been credited by colleagues past and present with helping the secondary become the successful academy that it is today.

Largs High School had previously taught pupils up to fourth year, with children having to go to Ardrossan Academy to sit their Highers until the mid-70s.

William took over the position of head master from Hugh McGhee, and helped in converting the school to becoming a full six year comprehensive, in what he considered to be ‘one of the pinnacles of his career’.

William was born in Ayr in August 1936, and education was very much part of the family, as both of his parents were school teachers. His father became director of education for Ayrshire.

As a boy, he excelled at sports, and had a special flair for football and rugby. He was to become a member of Ayr Academy’s Scottish 15 rugby team.

William went to Glasgow University where he graduated with honours, including an MA in economics and politics.

He met the lady who would become his wife at Ayrshire French summer school - Helga Goldschmidt - and they were married on the autumn of 1959.

By that time, he was teaching in Irvine Royal Academy and, when he lived in Irvine, he was the founder member of Irvine Rugby Club.

He became a teacher in Dalmellington High School then Cumnock Academy, and went on to become deputy rector of Auchinleck Academy in the 1960s.

William was appointed head of Largs High School on the Autumn 1972 at the age of 35.

When he arrived at Largs, it was a four-year secondary with primary attached.

Before long, the primary department became a separate school, and there were plans to upgrade the high school to six year academy, which William helped to progress through to its conclusion.

He was also particularly proud of the construction of the new east building which he was heavily involved in the planning of, and in due course, Largs Academy became one of the finest schools in the region.

William retired from Largs Academy during the mid-90s.

A colleague told the ‘News’: “Every aspect of school life mattered to him. For him, the inter relations of teaching staff, technicians, office staff, janitors, cleaners, and dining room staff were crucial to the running of the Academy. All the staff in his view contributed to the education of the children. As rector, he saw his role as a combination of leadership and support.

“Mr Inglis gave his unstinting attention to Largs Academy for 22 years.” Robert Provan, current Faculty Head of Pupil Support at Largs Academy, said: “William was a very humane man, and was very kind to his staff in many different ways. I know for a fact that several staff were helped greatly because that was the kind of man he was.

“He always kept his staff, and was very loyal, and Largs Academy became famous for that with some teachers spending their whole career at the Academy. I, myself, have been at Largs Academy for 31 years. Apparently when he was asked about his age by pupils, he would always tell them that he was the same age as Elvis!“ William died peacefully at Ayrshire Hospice on Friday 13 February, dear husband of the late Helga, and their children are Alan, Christine, Alison, William and Eleanor, and grandchildren are David, Kirsty, Billy and Jennifer, with one great-grandchild, Heidi.

A memorial service took place on Saturday at St Columba’s Episcopal Church.