Wallace Hall Academy

Wallace Hall is a 2-18 school in Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway, south-west Scotland. The school serves all school aged children in the local area, with three distinct schooling types operating under one building. These are; The ELC (Early Learning Centre or Nursery), Primary School, and Academy. The ELC and Primary School serves children aged 2-12 located within Thornhill's local catchment area, whilst the Academy serves children aged 11-18 located within Thornhill's local catchment area,[3] as well as a plethora of surrounding rural located Primary schools.[3][4] As of March 2023, the school operates with a roll of 554 pupils (secondary),[5] and 164 pupils (ELC and primary).[6]

Wallace Hall
Wallace Hall - geograph.org.uk - 3230791.jpg
Current Wallace Hall building (2010), showing ELC and Primary wing.
Station Road

Thornhill, Dumfriesshire

Coordinates55°14′35″N 3°45′40″W / 55.243°N 3.761°W / 55.243; -3.761Coordinates: 55°14′35″N 3°45′40″W / 55.243°N 3.761°W / 55.243; -3.761
TypeComprehensive school
Motto"Together we grow, learn and achieve"
AuthorityDumfries and Galloway
Head TeacherBarry Graham[1]
YearsNursery - S6
Age range2–18
Colour(s)Dark blue, green, and magnolia


The former Wallace Hall school (1911) in Closeburn.
The former Wallace Hall Academy building (1973) in Thornhill.

The original Wallace Hall was founded by John Wallace, a merchant in Glasgow and a native of Closeburn, who, in 1717, endowed £1400 for the purpose of erecting the school, on the basis for it to teach English, Latin, Greek, Writing, and Arithmetic, all for the children of Closeburn.[7][8] Upon his death in 1723, his executers purchased five acres of land, as well as farmland providing income for the rector, a year later the first schoolmaster was appointed.[7] The school established itself overtime as its reputation increased, in 1817, it was described as "indeed, one of the most celebrated academies of Scotland".[7] In 1911, a new building was constructed which would home Wallace Hall until 1973,[9] and now lives on as Closeburn Primary School.[10] The original building is now owned privately and run as a specialist education centre.[9] Furthermore, the John Wallace Trust continues to support young people in the Thornhill area by offering bursaries to help with the cost of higher education.[11]

Until the early nineteen seventies there were two secondary schools in the local area: the six-year Wallace Hall at Closeburn and the four-year Morton Academy at Thornhill. In 1973 the two schools amalgamated and the new school at Thornhill took on the name of Wallace Hall.[7] Prior to this amalgamation an extensive building programme was started in 1970 and completed in 1978 in order to accommodate the pupils of both schools. The school continued to flourish on this site until, however, as part of Dumfries and Galloway Council's £100 million project to build nine new schools, this building was replaced with a new Wallace Hall School which was built opposite the original school, beside the school playing fields.[12] The construction of the building started on the 16th January 2008 and the new school opened in January 2010.

COVID-19 ResponseEdit

The school closed temporarily in March 2020 following a government imposed national lockdown, as well as the annoucement by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, that all schools and nurseries would be closing, all to prevent the spread of COVID-19.[13][14] During the later half of 2020 (August until December), the school reopened, however with severe mitigations in place (such as a One Way System in the corridors, staggered lesson times for each year group, Social Distancing, and later on, mask wearing),[15][16] this following a (then ongoing) formal risk assessment conducted by Barry Graham and other senior management staff on behalf of Dumfries and Galloway Council,[17] as well as guidance issued by the Scottish Government on the matter.[18]

From March 2021, following government restrictions easing, the school reopened once again, implementing similar mitigation measures (such as mandatory mask wearing and social distancing) to guard against the spread of COVID-19. In Spring 2022, all mitigations were dropped and the school returned to normal operations.

In May 2022, the school held its first diet of SQA examinations since 2019, having returned to normal operations after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notable former pupilsEdit


  1. ^ "Wallace Hall Whole Staff List" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Wallace Hall Whole Staff List" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b "Dumfries and Galloway School Catchment and Electoral Wards Interactive Map".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Public Consultation Document for Proposed Catchment Area Changes for; Wallace Hall Academy, Dunscore Primary School, and Hollywood Primary School" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Wallace Hall Academy - Dumfries and Galloway Council". www.dumgal.gov.uk. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  6. ^ "Wallace Hall Primary School - Dumfries and Galloway Council". www.dumgal.gov.uk. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d "PressReader.com - Digital Newspaper & Magazine Subscriptions". www.pressreader.com. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  8. ^ "Wallace Hall Academy has 300 years of stories to tell". The Scottish Farmer. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  9. ^ a b "Wallace Hall Academy has 300 years of stories to tell". The Scottish Farmer. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  10. ^ "Closeburn Primary School - Dumfries and Galloway Council". www.dumgal.gov.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  11. ^ "John Wallace Trust Scheme - Dumfries and Galloway Council". www.dumgal.gov.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  12. ^ "In pictures: New schools project". 22 June 2007. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  13. ^ "Email to Parents" (PDF). 18 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Coronavirus: Strict new curbs on life in UK announced by PM". BBC News. 23 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  15. ^ "Email to Parents" (PDF). 11 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Email to Parents" (PDF). 3 September 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Risk Assessment Form" (PDF). 17 November 2020.
  18. ^ "FACTS Poster" (PDF). 7 July 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X.

External linksEdit