Kilquhanity School

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Coordinates: 55°00′47″N 3°55′41″W / 55.013°N 3.928°W / 55.013; -3.928 Kilquhanity School was one of several free schools to have been established in the United Kingdom in the twentieth century. Others include Sands School in Devon, Summerhill in Suffolk and Kirkdale School in London.

The school was founded by John Aitkenhead (1910-1998) [1][2] and his wife Morag in 1940. It was closed in 1997. It was located near Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway. The school is in the process of reopening under head teacher and former pupil Andrew Pyle, with the support of a Japanese educational organisation Kinokuni Children's Village Schools (headed by Shinichiro Hori) which now owns the premises. The first intake of 12 pupils is expected in 2013. A previous attempt to reopen in 2009 failed to attract a financially viable number of pupils.


The philosophy of Kilquhanity was heavily influenced by the writing and ideas of A. S. Neill, who founded Summerhill School, where Aitkenhead had worked;[1] essentially that children learn best with freedom from coercion ("free-range").

Further reading[edit]

  • The Education Revolution #32 Spring/Summer 2001 (the magazine of the Alternative Education Resource Organization).
  • Various authors. Summerhill: For and Against, a collection of essays, arguing both in favour and against Summerhill's (and Kilquhanity's) approach.
  • A.S. Neill. Summerhill. A book about the school and its philosophy, by the school's founder.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Obituary: John Aitkenhead". The Independent. 1998-08-21. Retrieved 2008-08-22. [dead link]
  2. ^ "John Aitkenhead". Braehead News. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 

External links[edit]