Kilquhanity House School was founded in 1940 and closed in 1997 – 57 years – the life of Scotland’s only ‘free’ school. The school was co-founded by John and Morag Aitkenhead. John was educator, poet, politician but his life work was Kilquhanity.

The author was kindly given permission by John’s widow, Morag, and their children, Neill, Val, Lois and Gavin to have access to John’s papers and the contents of his study/classroom -57 years of accumulated papers. The family have, kindly, on several occasions engaged in conversation with the author and have reviewed some of the following articles.

The author was a pupil of Kilquhanity in the 1960s, a parent in the 1990s, and a was engaged as a Trustee at the time of closure in 1997. From 2007 to the present, he is engaged as ‘Head’ of Kilquhanity Children’s Village for Kinokuni Children’s Village Trust (Japan).

Please click on the following chapters to open and read contents:

Chapter 1     Beginnings: John and Morag before Kilquhanity

Chapter 2    Influences: Boyd and Neill

Chapter 3    Glasgow University

Chapter 4    Partners in ‘crime’.

Chapter 5    Opening

Chapter 6    Brochure

Chapter 7    Others Writing: Pupils

Chapter 8    Others Writing: Visitors

Chapter 9    Others Writing: Journalists

Chapter 10  Others Writing: Student - Chris White

Chapter 11  Others Writing: Student - Unknown Author

Chapter 12  Others Writing: Student - Sassoon 1971, Taylor 1989  

Chapter 11   Others Writing: Publications

Chapter 12  Aitkenhead Writing on Education

Chapter 13  Aitkenhead: Politics

Chapter 14  Broadsheet and Other Kilquhanity Publications

Chapter 15  Broadsheet Editorials

Chapter 16  Broadsheet Hard News

Chapter 17  The Kids

Chapter 18  The Staff

Chapter 19  The Parents

Chapter 20  Visitors

Chapter 21  Correspondents

Chapter 22  Staff Meetings

Chapter 23  Fellow Travellers in Education

Chapter 24  Scottish Department of Education and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate

Chapter 25  Who, When and Where: some graphs and spreadsheets.

Chapter 26  Aitkenhead’s speaking Engagements

Chapter 27  Russia, America, Scandinavia and Japan

Chapter 28  Aitkenhead’s Outside Interests

Chapter 29  Money, Appeals and Finance

Chapter 30  Race Horse

Chapter 31  Argylle Sturgeon and Christine Hamilton Dicker Sturgeon

Chapter 32 Shinichiro Hori and Kinokuni Children’s Village Schools

Chapter 33  References to Kilquhanity in other publications.