Welcome
to our interactive
centenary website

Celebrating 100 years of Summerhill School and the inspirations A.S.Neill has given the world. Join our wider community, share your own story and create a project or two. Also please enjoy new, never seen before insights into our school.

1921-20021 Celebrating a centenary A.S.Neill's Summerhill School

Have a look around.

Welcome from
Zoë Neill Readhead

Welcome to our new centenary website which is commemorating one hundred years of A.S.Neill’s amazing school.  Founded in Dresden, Germany in 1921 Summerhill has survived against all the odds, having been pilloried by the press, misrepresented by the media and harried by Her Majesty’s School Inspectors throughout its history. Add to that the constant battle with financing and it is amazing that it is still here, not only surviving, but thriving!

Never in his wildest dreams could Neill, Neill Orange Peel have imagined that Summerhill would reach such a ripe old age – or that it would be as influential as it has been throughout the world. 

Almost weekly I receive emails saying, not that people have read my father’s books and enjoyed them – but that they have read my father’s books and IT CHANGED THEIR LIVES!

Summerhill’s hundred years give all of us a chance to celebrate the philosophy that Neill created and also to perhaps try to spread the word and find ways of sharing what we have been doing here with more people and schools worldwide.

This website has been created to celebrate interactively with all of you.  We encourage you to get involved and to tell us just what A.S.Neill, his books and his ideas have done for you or how they have affected you in your own life or that of your school.

Please make sure that you go and check out the pages about our proposed A.S.Neill Archive and Research Centre. This is a very exciting project that will enable serious research into educating the ‘whole’ child, the importance of childhood in its natural sense, and how a ‘Neillian’ education can prepare young people better for the world they live in. So, a truly sustainable education for a newly sustainable world.

It will also provide a professional standard archive to ensure that Summerhill and everything that makes it so special will be preserved for the next hundred years!

We will need some help with the financing of this building, so anything you can think of or feel you may be able to do to help with this would be amazing.

Enjoy the site, don’t forget to raise us a glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve as the clock strikes midnight into 2021 and we hope to see many of you at some of our events.

Best wishes to all,

Zoë 

Michelle Smith

WEBSITE

We are working to emulate summerhill in maputo, mozambique

Maryna Zozuliak

I am a mom, person, and wife. I am interested about everything in the world, but people (myself and others) - most. I am rebellious by the nature - it must have come from the childhood, but I never asked psychologist about it! Sometimes these features make me extremely effective and driving, and sometimes - just empty. This also pushes me working everywhere and doing everything simultaneously from time to time! Like now. Apart from many other activities and works that I do, I also am the fundraising for the Summerhill festival, and will be happy to have many-many new acquaintances, connections, and friends!

Martha Neighbors

My 5 years as a Summerhill kid shaped everything about me. To this day (45+ year since I left!), my Summerhill family is the most important to me beyond my husband and children. My time there shaped my ability to adapt to new environments, to refuse to be quiet and accepting, to question, and to not be afraid to move on from situations that don't make me happy. Now I serve on the AS Neill Summerhill Trust, hopefully giving back a tiny speck of what Summerhill has given me. As I sit here in New York City, epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, Neill's phrase "freedom, not license" resonates more than ever. I hope we can still all see each other at next year's 100th reunion.

Michael Newman

WEBSITE

I worked at Summerhill from 1995 as a fulltime science teacher, creating a timetable based on children choosing modules and controlling their academic learning towards GCSEs. I became one of the school's first Curriculum Advisers, along with Ian the Maths teacher. I created and supported the school's children's campaign committee to fight against the Ofsted threat of closure that resulted in the court case in 1999, this group became the External Affairs Committee. I was on the school's organising committee for IDEC 1999, chaired the conference, and published a 99 page report about the event. I have worked at the school for some 15 years as a Houseparent, English and Class 2 teacher, Café manager, and 'archivist'. I use Summerhill School and similar schools and children's communities to frame children's active citizenship work in state schools with examples of the implementation of children's rights. I initiated the Freedom to Learn Forum 2018 at Summerhill School.

Mikey Cuddihy

I went summerhill from 1962-68.

Tilly Tiffin

Hi my name is Tilly and I am a pupil at Summerhill and I love music and climbing trees