My history hero: Sir Alec Clegg (1909-86)

Chosen by Ian McMillan, poet and broadcaster...

Sir Alec Clegg was the founder of Bretton Hall College (pictured), a West Yorkshire college specialising in arts and performance. (Photo by Memitina/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the June 2011 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Sir Alec Clegg was the pioneering chief education officer of the West Riding of Yorkshire County Council for nearly 30 postwar years. A bespectacled local government administrator, Clegg was nonetheless a huge inspiration to teachers and pupils under his control. He placed enormous, if not overwhelming emphasis on the arts when drawing up the curriculum for the region and was the founder of Bretton Hall College, the West Yorkshire college specialising in arts and performance whose alumni include actor Colin Welland, comedian Mark Thomas and members of The League Of Gentlemen.

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