Arguments in favour of the establishment of a network of "alternative schools catering for some of the pupils, parents and young teachers who were totally disenchanted with the system of state education" were reported from a student conference in The TES Scotland of February 28, 1975:
Mr John Aitkenhead talked about Kilquhanity, the independent school for "half a hundred boys and girls, aged 8 to 18" which he founded in 1940 and has run ever since. He emphasised the advantage offered by a school on this scale, compared to the huge and rigidly organised institutions set up by the state . . .
Mr Aitkenhead . . . expatiated on his belief that local authorities should be urged to establish a limited number of experimental schools, schools organised in the spirit of Kilquhanity, though not necessarily on the same pattern.
There was at present no machinery by which alternative schools could be set up, though it was clear that an increasing number of pupils, parents and young teachers regarded the state school as they knew it as "a cruel confidence trick", and wanted some alternative.