Scope and content
┆Oral history interview with Maurice Bridgeland.
**Name:** Maurice Bridgeland
**Biographical summary:** Maurice Bridgeland was an educator who specialised in working with children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. He worked at a range of institutions including Midhurst Grammar School, Crawley Grammar School, Lendrick Muir and Frensham Heights School. Between 1967 and 1971 he was a lecturer at the University of Liverpool and from 1973 until the late 1990s he worked as an educational psychotherapist for the Hampshire health and education departments. In 1971 he published his seminal book, 'Pioneer Work with Maladjusted Children'.
**Interviewer:** Craig Fees
**Brief summary of interview:** Bridgeland gives a full account of the school and institutions he worked at over his career as well as sharing personal accounts of some of the prominent characters in the progressive education movement. He begins the interview talking about his early life, education and battle with tuberculosis. He moves on to describe why he become interested in special and progressive education and shares his own theories and thoughts about the successful education of those termed ‘maladjusted’. This includes a discussion about the use of punishment and children-led judicial systems, both of which Bridgeland dismisses as unhelpful. He talks in detail about the culture, successes and failures of Midhurst Grammar School, Crawley Grammar School, Lendrick Muir and Frensham Heights School. Bridgeland gives the most detail about Frensham Heights, the school at which he was headmaster. He describes his experience of running the school, the general character of children who attended, the activities and classes that were provided, and the management of the school, which actively involved the pupils. He also recalls the difficulty of treating psychopathic children with a large, boarding school setting. He makes special reference to the prevalence of recreational drugs use among older pupils in the later 1970s and the challenges of navigating the often intense relationships which develop between the pupils at single sex boarding schools. Bridgeland provides anecdotes and insights into the work of George Lyward (Finchden Manor), Otto Shaw (Red Hill), Melvyn Rose (Peper Harow), Lucy Francis (Kingsmuir School), AS Neill (Summershill), Fred Lennhoff (Shotton Hall School) and David Wills (Q-Camps, Barns Hostel and School) and Marjorie Franklin (Q –Camps). These reminiscences are broadly contained within references to the writing of his seminal 1971 publication 'Pioneer Work with Maladjusted Children'. Bridgeland ends the interview by describing his work at the Wessex Unit in Portsmouth alongside Dr. Haffner and the demise of progressive schools in the late 1970s.
**Date of recording:** 9-10 March 1996
**Recording length**: 0:45:40, 0:34:00, 0:36:54, 0:39:13, 0:46:27, 0:21:47, 0:46:36, 0:43:10, 0:43:19, 0:00:42
**Please note: Side ‘B’ of first cassette tape is missing**
**Please note: Contains historic language that readers might find offensive.**