The way in which the children’s natural curiosity was used to increase their knowledge is described. The greatest challenges came from the aggressive behaviour of some of the children, a few of whom were exceedingly difficult. Firmer boundaries to behaviour were gradually laid down though discipline remained relatively free. The most striking feature of the school noted by visitors in contrast to that seen in other schools was the happiness of the pupils. Although criticised by Cambridge psychoanalysts, the school generally attracted favourable publicity. A film made of the school was particularly well received.
By 1927 however, only three years after the school opened, Geoffrey’ financial affairs began to unravel and shortly afterwards, he and the school faced bankruptcy. The management of the school was further seriously complicated by the fact that Geoffrey and Susan had embarked on a sexual relationship which had ended badly. At the end of 1927, Geoffrey dismissed her so that the school was without a Principal and, shortly afterwards the school closed. In 1929, Geoffrey was sued for bankruptcy and developed a serious mental illness which meant he could no longer handle his own affairs.