Your Children are not your Children

The Story Of Headfort School

By: Lingard Goulding

Publication Date: 17 Sep 2012


HEADFORT SCHOOL has always been an idiosyncratic place. Beginning as an ‘outpost of Empire’ at a time when that empire was locally destitute and internationally disintegrating, it prepared the sons of the landed classes for the ‘great public schools’.

Weaving its way around the Headfort family and its successors as landlord, the School has traced a rapidly evolving educational ethos. It has managed to protect its individuality and excellence, whilst staunchly refusing to adopt any of the more illogical conclusions of a changing society.

Your Children are not your Children is more than a book about a school. It treats such universal issues as co-education, competition, bad language, bullying and homesickness. It reveals the development of Headfort through portraits of the colourful characters on its staff, anecdotes of pupils from every era and accounts of their lurid pranks. The story is augmented by extracts from the ‘Headmaster’s Newsletter’, revealing his thinking about children and education at different stages of his 24-year headmastership, and his startling hatred of political correctness. Told in the inimitable style of Lingard Goulding, whose voice sums up so well the School he served, this book is an engaging account of a living community.


LINGARD GOULDING was hatched at Hatch Street, Dublin, in 1940. He passed the war years dodging bombs with his Nanny in England, while his parents dealt with Herr Hitler. Educated at Ludgrove, Winchester and Trinity College Dublin, he spent his twenties mining in Australia, programming early computers, racing powerful cars, manufacturing fertilizers and marketing Irish jewellery. Disenchanted with industry, he took an H.Dip. Ed. and taught at Brook House for four years.

He joined Headfort in 1974, serving as Headmaster from 1977 until 2001.He ran the first twenty-one Dublin marathons, but has since been cured of the complaint. Each F1 Grand Prix is his ‘Holy Hour’. He enjoys fiddling with words; quaffing affordable wine; listening to Mozart, Handel, Brubeck, Artie Shaw, Fats Waller; and dabbling in cricket and squash.In 2005 he retired from winters; he now spends six months each year working at St Peter’s College and Goodwood Cricket Club in Adelaide; the other six months he recuperates at Headfort.



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Weight 0.75 kg
Dimensions 156 × 235 mm
Publication Date

17 Sep 2012


Hardback with illustrations, 266pp.