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Alternative Education

Progressive & Democratic Schools

Democratic schools generally share most or all of the following characteristics, although there is no exact definition or requirement for a democratic school:
Shared decision-making among the students and staff
A learner-centered approach in which students choose their daily activities equality among staff and students
The community as an extension of the classroom


See the next page for Knowles Hill School where many of our family attended and a link to Mike Insall's Official site, taken over from Spencer Childs click to view

The Difference between KHS and other schools is partly in the KHS story
At KHS there was no corporal punishment and as far as I could see no bullying
There was an international outlook.
We had no Empire Day
We had a minutes silence in assembly when any hanging took place.
Creativity and the arts were infused into everything.
We were imbued with a deep love and respect for nature ..the environment was not such a big issue then but Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring came out a few years after my grandmother Gertrude Goldsmith died.
We were brought up to be very thoughtful and kind to the "handicapped" who the local authority paid for to attend KHS, with the small classes they could get the attention they needed
There was no religious dogma/formal religion when I was there.
KHS did have a formal time table.
There were high expectations of all the children and a high minded example in Miss Rainford who was loved and respected. Thalia Campbell (Childs)

Home Education

Contrary to what most people believe educating your child at home and not attending school is perfectly legal. Many children today are home educated.
Thousands of people all over the UK are exercising their rights to opt out of the school system and teach their children at home. Over the last few years home education has become very popular.
You don't have to be a teacher, you don't need any special equipment and you don't have to follow the national curriculum. With home education you have the flexibility to follow your child's interest.

PAULA ROTHERMEL has undertaken a lot of research on home education; articles and research can be seen on her website. Her PhD research (2002) leaflet showing the benefits of Home Education on numeracy, literacy and social skills. She undertook a three-year study of 1,000 families concentrating on children under 11 and, in particular on 415 families. The research concentrated on tests for psychological stability, academic attainment and social skills. It showed that whilst 14% of parents interviewed had some teacher training home educating parents were more likely to come from manual and semi-skilled backgrounds and, contrary to most educational research findings, lower social class did not equate with poorer performance in children; in fact the reverse was often true. Over half of the families were electively home educating because of some shortfall or perceived shortfall in the education offered by schools. Rothermel found that home-educated children demonstrated high levels of literacy in comparison to national attainments, even though many home educators described themselves as ‘late readers’. Overall, the children demonstrated high levels of attainment and social skills. Rothermel noted that a positive and secure environment, individual attention, the absence of peer pressure and the opportunity to learn through talk all contributed to positive outcomes. click to view

Human Scale Education

Small scale learning communities enable children and young people to be known and valued as individuals

Each learner's particular needs are met and all aspects of development - creative, emotional, moral, spiritual as well as intellectual and physical - are encouraged

The learning process is active, participative and relates to the child's own experience

The learning community is underpinned by environmentally sustainable values and practices

Parents and the local community are seen as vital partners in the life of the school or learning community

Schools are democratic communities in which all those involved share in decision making

Link to website


Greatoaks Small School Kent

Greatoaks Small School Kent
To educate students aged 11 to 18 of average or above average intelligence, who have completed all or most of their primary education in mainstream, maintained or independent schools, and those whom secondary education has so far been unsuccessful.

We began life unofficially 9 years ago when Julie and Liz found themselves home educating their respective younger children. Two years on, with five students, we were deemed to be a school so attended the HSE course on “How to Start a Small School” run by Colin Hodges through Human Scale Education.
Great Oaks runs in much the same way as all Small Schools in terms of decision making and with a green ethos. We have two exciting developments on the near horizon, one to be the production of biofuel for our heating and some transport. Also to use a bi-product of that to manufacture soap which will form part of the business studies A level course.

link to website

Janice and Alastair's mother always told them that she and the older children were 'educated at home' Would this have been following the philosophy of Steiner? She was naturally left handed and the thing she remembered most was her left hand being cruelly tied behind her back forcing her to use her right hand. We now know this was common practice in those days.

Rudolf Steiner and Home Schooling

The fact that Rudolf Steiner poured so much energy into the Waldorf School in Stuttgart tends to obscure the fact that he spent much of his life working with individual children.

Many of the ideas that he promoted resonate with the discoveries that have been made by Home Schoolers over the past twenty years. He respected the fact that children should not be forced into learning things before they were ready; he varied the curriculum according to the needs of the specific children with whom he was dealing, and he always stressed the importance of teachers engaging with each child and ensuring they were all treated as individuals.

Unfortunately much of what he said remains rather remote and unapproachable to modern home schooling families: he spoke in German - which means that most people have to make do with translations - and his references to anthroposophical ideas are no longer topical.

Nevertheless there is no reason why Home Schoolers should not be able to make use of the vast amount of literature associated with Steiner education, or be able to forge useful links with Steiner schools that are outward looking and community based.


The end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century was a time when all of the sciences were developing rapidly and Rudolf Steiner was determined that they should be based on spiritual, as opposed to material, truths. This led him to be instrumental in the founding of Weleda, the company that promotes and produces Homeopathic and Herbal medicines; to laying the groundwork for Biodynamic agriculture - which was the forerunner to the modern Organic movement in central Europe; to being involved in many curative and therapeutic enterprises and to taking part in a wide range of other scientific and artistic activities. He was a prolific writer and lecturer and became a major figure in the German-speaking world of that time.

Rudolph Steiner

Our grandparents Harry Bird and Gertrude Goldsmith ( and perhaps Dorothy ) were 'Theosophists' but we think more with the assosciation of the Anglo-Indian Theosophy and the Society founded by H.P.Blavatsky rather than Steiner. They also appeared to follow in his beliefs about education.

As a child, the spiritual world was open to him through his clairvoyant experiences.The young Rudolf was very much aware of the nature spirits and of a life behind the ordinary physical world, not perhaps unlike many other children who spend their childhoods in an unspoilt natural environment. But unlike most children, Steiner continued to be fully aware of such beings throughout his life. As a youngster, he could find no one to share his experiences and recognised that he had to keep silent about them.

At the turn of the new century Steiner was invited by the Theosophists to speak to them. This circle consisted of people who were interested in direct information about the spiritual world. Here, as elsewhere, Rudolf Steiner explicitly upheld only his own convictions and the results of his own investigations. Though he accepted the offer to become the executive secretary of the German Section of the Theosophical Society, he inclined towards founding his own movement. This coupled with his refusal to go along with some of the policies of the Theosophists led to his founding of the Anthroposophical Society in 1912 - 1913. At Christmas 1923, he made another new start by founding the worldwide General Anthroposophical Society and remained its President until his death in 1925

A Definition of Steiner Education

Rudolf Steiner believed that education should be designed to meet the changing needs of a child as they develop physically, mentally and emotionally. He believed that it should help a child to fulfil their full potential but he did not believe in pushing children towards goals that adults, or society in general, believed to be desirable.

Steiner schools are based on his pholosophy he founded his first school in Germany in 1919. There are now nearly 900 around the world. Steiner wrote a book first published in 1922 'Theosophy' An introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man. In earlier centuries, particularly in Central Europe, 'Theosophy' was a recognised section of Philososphy and even of Theology.

Here are some of its key points:

Up to the age of seven encourage play, drawing, story telling, being at home, nature study and natural things.
Do not teach children younger than seven to read.
Teach a child to write before you teach them to read.
Do not keep changing a child's teacher: allow one teacher to carry on teaching the same class for seven years.
Allow children to concentrate on one subject at a time - do history two hours per day for several weeks and then do geography for two hours per day etc.
Find links between art and science.
Engage with the child and make sure that they are enthusiastic about the material being covered.
Give a moral lead but do not teach a particular set of beliefs.
Encourage learning for its own sake. Do not just work for exams.

Link to Steiner website click to view

"What an educational acheivement over the last 50 years to have killed that natural spark of childhood curiosity in so many children. If a child can read and write and retain that childhood spark of curiosity they will continue to learn all their lives." Thalia


Waldorf Schools

A Waldorf School Germany

A Waldorf School Germany
The name WALDORF comes from the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuggart, Germany where the founder of Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner, established a school in 1919 for the children of the factory's employees
The most serious charges against Waldorf education involve its connection with neo-Nazism and racism. Hitler himself attacked the schools as "a Jewish method to destroy the normal spiritual state of the people".
Parents who choose Waldorf education are typically middle-class people who eschew middle-class values.The schools are both criticized and lauded for postponing the learning of reading until the age of seven.
Waldorf education is a pedagogy based upon the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, Learning is interdisciplinary, integrates practical, artistic, and intellectual elements, and is coordinated with "natural rhythms of everyday life". The Waldorf approach emphasizes the role of the imagination in learning, developing thinking that includes a creative as well as an analytic component. The education's overarching goal is to provide young people the basis with which to develop into free, moral] and integrated individuals and to aid every child in the unfolding of his or her unique destiny. Schools and teachers are given considerable freedom to define curricula within collegial structures.
Waldorf education is now practiced in over 950 established independent Waldorf schools and 1400 independent Waldorf kindergartenslocated in approximately sixty countries throughout the world, making up one of the world's largest independent educational systems, as well as in "Waldorf-method" government-funded schools, charter schools, homeschooling environments, and special education. Waldorf methods have also been adopted by individual teachers within traditional state sector and private schools.

Dora Black & Bertrand Russell were heros of our grandparents

Dora Black & Bertrand Russell were heros of our grandparents
Beacon Hill School is the name of the school founded and run by Bertrand Russell and his second wife Dora Russell (Black). It was run from a succession of different locations (including its original premises at the Russell's residence (Telegraph House) all based in England and is considered to have been one of the most important pioneering schools in the field of Libertarian Education together with Summerhill School. There are at least three other schools in the UK with the name Beacon Hill. Black and Russell founded the school in 1927 which they tried to teach children to leave behind superstitions and irrational views of previous generations. Black expressed her views on education in a book called In Defence of Children. Russell left Black for one of his students after Black had had two children with journalist Griffin Barry. She ran the school on her own until World War II. (Wikipedia)

Although Bertrand Russell played a crucial role in founding Beacon Hill, it was primarily Dora Russell's project, and it was exclusively hers from 1932 until the school ceased to exist in 1943.
Dora Black, the daughter of Frederick Black, a senior Civil servant, was born in London in 1894. Black held strong progressive views and believed that girls had the right to as good an education as boys. Dora responded well to her father's encouragement and won scholarships to Sutton High School and Girton College, Cambridge. At university she gained a first-class honours degree in modern languages.

Dora met Bertrand Russell in 1916 and soon afterwards he asked her to marry him. Dora's feminism involved a belief in sexual freedom and although she was willing to live with Bertrand, she rejected his proposal of marriage. Dora saw marriage as a restriction on women's liberty, and although Bertrand accepted her philosophical argument on the subject, he wanted a son and legitimate heir to the family title.

In the First World War Dora joined Russell's campaign against military conscription. After Russell was released from Brixton Prison in 1918 for his role in the struggle against the Military Service Act. Dora and Bertrand visited Russia and China together.

When they returned to England in 1921 Dora agreed to marry Bertrand Russell. After giving birth to her first child Dora became involved in the birth control movement. The 1923 Dora along with Maynard Keynes, paid for the legal costs to obtain the freedom of Guy Aldred and Rose Witcop after they had been found guilty of selling pamphlets on contraception. The following year, Dora, with the support of Katharine Glasier, Susan Lawrence, Margaret Bonfield, Dorothy Jewson and H. G. Wells founded the Workers' Birth Control Group. Dora also campaigned within the Labour Party for birth-control clinics but this was rejected as they feared losing the Roman Catholic vote.

Dora also emphasized co-operation rather than competition and believed that the best way to teach the benefits of democracy was to run the school on democratic lines. Dora's educational philosophy was expressed in her book In Defence of Children (1932).

Both Bertrand and Dora continued to have sexual relationships with other partners. This resulted in Dora having two children with the journalist, Griffin Barry. In 1935 Bertrand Russell left Dora for one of his students, Patricia Spence. When Barry returned to the United States, Dora continued to run Beacon Hill School on her own until the Second World War when she went to work for the Ministry of Information.

Dora was active in the peace movement after the war and in 1958 joined with Bertrand Russell, J. B. Priestley, Vera Brittain, Fenner Brockway, Victor Gollancz, Canon John Collins and Michael Foot to form the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Later that year Dora organised the Women's Caravan of Peace and toured with it through much of Europe.

In her autobiography, Dora Russell describes the setting up of Beacon Hill in 1927.

Measures of self-government and a school council, especially for such young children, were a great innovation. Democracy can only spring from practising it early, and democratic action was not to expected from young people brought up under a close authoritarian system. According to our view, freedom given and understood early enough would result in a natural evolution to maturity and self-discipline. Severity and repression of the old type, however, almost certainly carried with it in adolescence, disturbance, confusion and the necessity of revolt.

Following the rise of the Labour Party it seemed reasonable, in 1927, to expect, or at least hope, that co-operation for the common good might gradually replace the competitiveness of capitalism. Hence we did not foster competition in our school, on the contrary. Nor is it true that children are naturally competitive, unless egged on to be so. Physical punishment was, of course, not permitted, and we sought to mitigate aggression among the children themselves. If an adult uses violence on a child, the child will naturally assume that he too, has the right to use it on one smaller or weaker.

Link to Bertrand Russell website click

Bertrand Russell 1916

Bertrand Russell 1916


Montessori education is based upon the work of Maria Montessori, and her discovery that children learn directly from their environment and relatively little from listening to a teacher talking to a class.

The Montessori method is both an educational philosophy and a methodology. It was originally developed in the late 19th century by Italian educator Maria Montessori. Many Montessori schools are preschool or elementary school in level, but there are some Montessori programs that begin with infants or end at 12th grade. Montessori stated, "I have studied the child. I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it and that is what is called the Montessori method."

In her autobiography, Dora Russell describes a visit to the Nursery School founded by Margaret McMillan:

We took John and Kate to spend half a day at the McMillan open-air nursery school, and we talked about her and studied her ideas in action. We studied the Montessori material, much of which was to teach number, reading and writing, we thought too rigid; we preferred the McMillan style of providing the child with all kinds of materials by means of which it would find its own way. Nor did we think it was necessarily a good thing for a child to read and become bookish and academic too early. This is a period of doing, feeling, observing the world and his fellow citizens - the concrete over the abstract - apparently almost completely lost to sight by our planners today, when it seems that children are to be stimulated to read, write and do sums even before they leave the nursery school.

Link to Maria Montessori website click to view

An early class in Italy

An early class in Italy

Reggio Emilia System

This approach emphasizes the use of art in children's learning, classrooms are draped with cloth and garlands. It is based on the assumption that children learn better in groups and are resourceful enough to come up with their own idea for lessons between the ages of 3 and 6 yrs. Its supporters say it is helping to produce a generation of confident children.

Reggio Children - Centro Internazionale per la difesa e la promozione dei diritti e delle potenzialità dei bambini e delle bambine - è una società pubblico-privata nata nel 1994 da un’idea di Loris Malaguzzi, promotore instancabile delle istituzioni educative reggiane, per valorizzare il quarantennale patrimonio educativo dei nidi e delle scuole dell’infanzia comunali.
La filosofia della partecipazione - connaturata e radicata nella tradizione reggiana - è in sostanza una strategia educativa che vede bambini, insegnanti e genitori parte essenziale di un progetto comune. E’ lo stile di vita della scuola, e si concretizza, ad esempio, nelle serate a tema organizzate con le famiglie, dove prendono corpo idee e progetti originali per la creazione di nuovi arredi e materiali.
THE REGGIO EMILIA APPROACH is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The city of Reggio Emilia in Italy is recognized worldwide for its innovative approach to education. Its signature educational philosophy has become known as the Reggio Emilia Approach. And many American preschool programs have adopted it. The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles: Children must have some control over the direction of their learning. Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing. Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore. And children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

The Reggio Emilia approach to teaching young children puts the natural development of children as well as the close relationships that they share with their environment at the center of its philosophy. Early childhood programs that have successfully adapted to this educational philosophy share that they are attracted to Reggio because of the way it views and respects the child. They believe that the central reason that a child must have control over his or her day-to-day activity is that learning must make sense from the child's point of view.

Reggio Emilia's tradition of community support for families with young children expands on Italy's cultural view of children as the collective responsibility of the state. In Reggio Emilia, the infant/toddler and pre-primary program is a vital part of the community, as reflected in the high level of financial support. Community involvement is also apparent in citizen membership in La Consulta, a school committee that exerts significant influence over local government policy.


Link to Jubilee memories click to read
Kilquhanity School (KILLY) was one of several free schools to have been established in the UK in the twentieth century.
The school was founded by John Aitkenhead (1910-1998) in 1940.
John Aitkenhead was a Conscientious Objector. In the Second World War he and his wife Moira were allowed to start up and run his own boarding school at Kilquhanity House near Douglas Kirkcudbrightshire in Scotland.
His founding motto for Kilquhanity was ‘Liberty, Equality and Inefficiency’. ‘Revolutions that are efficient’, he observed, ‘always end up killing people.’ John Aitkenhead believed that education is ‘the generation of happiness’. He believed that children should be free to express their humanity in a natural way, in an atmosphere free from sexual and intellectual repression. At first, he followed the libertarian doctrine of A S Neill to the letter — until pupils voted to abolish bedtime. When he found a pupil fast asleep in a laundry basket after two sleepless nights, he successfully reasoned to a yawning assembly that bedtimes should be reinstated.
Because lessons were optional, several pupils spent time working on local farms as tractor drivers or rough-shooting or snaring rabbits and foxes for their pelts. Some of them were armed, mostly with shotguns, some with .22s and one with a Lee Enfield .303. They swapped ammo as others swapped stamps.

Link to some more amazing old school memories from Christopher Hamilton ! click to read

The school was run on Progressive lines. It was a very different school to any other. It was set in the beautiful Urr Valley in a house once lived in by the author Gavin Maxwell with its own park like garden and small farm. The farm was run for the benefit of the school and the children

The philosophy of Kilquhanity was heavily influenced by the writing and ideas of A. S. Neill, who founded Summerhill school; essentially that children learn best with freedom from coercion

Extract from Obituary - The Scotsman

John Aitkenhead was the last of a small group of educational pioneers - Lane at the Little Commonwealth; Curry at Dartington and Neill at Summerhill - whose contributions to education had been compared to Rousseau and Dewey. This group of headmasters of independent progressive schools shared a common belief of freedom in education and the happiness of children, allowing children to express their humanity in an atmosphere far removed from what was seen as the natural order of sexual and intellectual repression.
He was not just a radical in his outlook in education, he was also a committed pacifist and member of the Peace Pledge Union - although years later he would admit if Hitler had invaded he would have had to reconsider his position even if it had been too late.
The war gave the school an unexpected boost. Galloway was not on any bomber routes and worried parents who might otherwise have had second thoughts about sending their children to such a school, decided it was a safe haven. Some local people were less kind. On a number of occasions, staff and pupils were subjected to taunts of "lousy conchies". On another occasion, staff, including John Aitkehead, were beaten up for their beliefs.
Along with the American educator Paul Goodman John Aitkenhead understood that literacy was not as simple as ABC. Curiosity as to why one of his own children had serious difficulties in reading and writing made him take an interest in dyslexia many years before it became a fashionable and accepted concept. When asked how he had made a non-reader into a reader within a few short months, he replied: "I just took him on my knee and read with him."

Killy Reopening!
In the 20tth Century two men in the UK held up the banner for freedom and democracy in education – both of them Scots. A. S. Neill had his Summerhill on the East coast of England and John Aitkenhead had Kilquhanity House School up in Southwest Scotland
Now it is to reopen under the auspices of another of the most famous names in democratic education, Shin-Ichiro Hori. Many years ago Professor Hori began translating Neill’s books into Japanese and then went on to start the first democratic school in Japan, Kinokuni, in 1992. Now he has bought the property at Castle Douglas and plans to get Kilquhanity going again, at first as a summer camp. The school is in a beautiful spot out in the country and it should be an ideal place for Japanese and Scottish kids to spend happy summers. Once the school is restored to its former glory Professor Hori hopes to run it year round. This last summer he worked there with a group of 20 Japanese kids, rebuilding a tree house.

Morag Aitkenhead (Moira) was born on October 28, 1911. She died on September 21, 2007, aged 95. She remained in a flat built as part of the refurbishment of the estate buildings by Professor Shin-Ichero Hiroko, who opened five schools modelled on Kilquhanity in Japan
She was on a number of local committees, an early supporter of the Scottish Poetry Library, a member of Exit, the voluntary euthanasia organisation, and for 26 years she supported the Glasgow-based Fate — Friends at the End. She was a pacifist, member of the Peace Pledge Union and later active member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
The school motto was: “Liberty, Equality and Inefficiency”. Aitkenhead later wrote: “We were for complete freedom.” The school motto was: “Liberty, Equality and Inefficiency”. Aitkenhead later wrote: “We were for complete freedom.”

Images Gary Thomson - Link to his personal website - click to view

Creativity at Sands Ashburton Devon

Creativity at Sands Ashburton Devon
Sands School Ashburton Devon

Sands School is a democratic school in Devon, UK It was set up by Sean Bellamy and Sybillia Higgs in 1987 Choice and freedom are very important, as is having fun. link

Summerhill School

Summerhill School
Summerhill School was founded in 1921 in Hellerau near Dresden, Germany by A.S. Neill. Today it is a boarding and day school currently located in Leiston, Suffolk, England, serving primary and secondary education in a democratic fashion. It is now run by Neill's daughter, Zoe Readhead.

Summerhill is noted for its philosophy that children learn best with freedom from coercion. All lessons are optional, and pupils are free to choose what to do with their time. Neill founded Summerhill with the belief that "the function of a child is to live his own life — not the life that his anxious parents think he should live, not a life according to the purpose of an educator who thinks he knows best."

In the 1960's sexual abuse masqueraded as free love.

Summerhill has had a less than perfect relationship with the British government, and is still the most inspected school in the country. During the 1990s, it was inspected nine times. In March of 1999, following a major inspection from OFSTED (The "OFfice for STandards in EDucation"), the then Secretary of State for Education and Employment, David Blunkett, issued the school with a notice of complaint, which took issue with the school's policy of non-compulsory lessons. Failure to comply with such a notice within six months usually leads to closure; however, Summerhill chose to contest the notice in court. The case went before a special educational tribunal in March 2000, when four days into the hearing, the government's case collapsed, and a settlement was agreed. The pupils who were attending the hearing that day took over the courtroom and held a school meeting to debate whether to accept the settlement, eventually voting unanimously to do so (Wikipedia) click

Kirkdale School (1964 - 1980s) was a small, independent free school located in Sydenham, South London, UK. During the whole of the school's existence it was run as a parent/teacher co-operative.

Kirkdale is one of several free schools to have been established in the UK in the twentieth century. Others include (Sands School in Devon, Summerhill in Suffolk and Kilquhanity School in the Scottish Borders).

Unlike some free schools, Kirkdale was not established in a rural idyll but within a small plot in a working class, multicultural area of inner London (Lewisham). (Wikipedia)

Dartington Hall

Dartington Hall
Dartington Hall School, founded in 1926, offered a progressive coeducational boarding life. When it started there was a minimum of formal classroom activity and the children learnt by involvement in estate activities. With time more academic rigour was imposed, but it remained progressive and had good success educating the children, sometimes the more wayward ones, of the fee-paying intelligentsia. A noted alumnus was Lord Young, a founder of Which? and the Open University. Lucien Freud also attended the school for two years, but mostly played truant. At its peak the school had some 300 pupils. However, with the advent of state-based progressive education, the death of its founders, an increasing number of 'wayward' pupils, and finally a major scandal involving the headmaster and his wife, the school suffered a dramatic drop in recruitment. Despite support from the Trust, the closure of the school was inevitable and it finally shut its doors in 1987. Its alumni website indicates a vibrant society with some 4000 former pupils listed. (Wikipedia)
Link to the Archives click to view

Dorothy Whitney Elmhirst, social activist, arts patron and co-founder of the social experiment at Dartington Hall in Devon in the 1920s. She formed inspiring friendships with Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martha Graham, Cecil Beaton, Benjamin Britten and the actor-director Michael Chekhov, among many others.

Eleanor Roosevelt regularly visited and supported Dartington Hall school and village regeneration project. She was a friend of the Elmhirst family and they were involved in Knowles Hill School with a family memnber at the school .Of course there was Miss Rainford's involvement as a translator at the League of Nations .. I read E Roosevelts book "On my own" an account of her life after her husband's death and her work on human rights the UN...

Link to an article in The Daily Telegraph Supplemnet 1966 click