Sir Brian Souter’s Childhood

From truant school boy to chartered accountant

Brian at Strathclyde University

Sir Brian’s first days at school weren’t unblemished. So much so, he was almost expelled and warned that he would be ejected from school if he didn’t agree to repeat the year because of his poor performance.

“I don’t care if you go back to school or not,” warned his father “But if you do – there’s to be no more messing about!” Suitably chastised, Sir Brian stopped fooling around, got his head down and began to focus on his studies.

“Changing my timetable from maths to include economics and accounts was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

Instead of being the class dunce he became a good performer, easily passing his exams and winning the dux prize in economics and accounts.

“I’m walking proof that you don’t have to be an academic genius to do ok at school. We all have different talents and with a bit of hard work, even poor pupils like me can make some progress,” he reflects.

Sir Brian developed his talent for economics and accounts and on leaving school, studied to become a commerce teacher. It was then he decided he wanted to be a chartered accountant eventually landing a place at Glasgow’s Strathclyde University thanks to his commerce diploma .

His performance at university could not have been more different from his early days at school. He completed a joint accountancy and economics course in two years and sailed through his CA diploma with credit.

A bright future as a Chartered Accountant lay ahead of him. But that’s not exactly how things turned out.

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Souter Charitable Trust