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,


Mauro Amarillo

Soy docente de Pedagogía Social en el Instituto de Formación en Educación Social de Montevideo, Uruguay. Tomamos a las ideas de AS Neill como precursor de propuestas pedagógicas antiautoritarias y las enseñamos en el Curso de Pedagogía Social 1

Hanna Varga

I'm a Summerhill parent with my 7-year-old son studying there currently. My journey in parenting and education have been shaped by a number of influential thinkers including A.S. Neill, Rudolf Steiner, Ina May Gaskin and Nathalie de Salzmann. A.S. Neill's ideas and Summerhill, as I see and understand it, provides an environment where several things I value exist in practice in a social setting, such as, cultivating independence and freedom in oneself as well as taking ownership of their own choices, behaviour and life while being an active part of a community. I trust the experiences children have while at Summerhill will leave deep impressions that will serve them far beyond the years they spend at the school and prepare them for later life with integrity.


I'm the art teacher at Summerhill, possibly the best job in the world! The Summerhill seed was planted in my mind when I first read some of Neill's work as a teenager (a teenager who hated school) and to me it sounded just wonderful. The initial Summerhill seed has stated to grow as I took up the position of art teacher two years ago - and its been brilliant! Prior to Summerhill I was an artist and curator, I studied BA Art and Philosophy and MA Curating Contemporary Art and worked on projects around the UK. I then began teaching, initially in a state school, then a Waldorf school and now a democratic school.

Marianthi Koritsaris


Plato, the great philosopher, saw education as a life-long learning process, a vigorous and constant search for truth in a free democratic environment. Plato Academy embraces this idea, striving to provide children with a solid foundation for excellence through learning, development of the creative personality in each one of them, and especially the development of critical thinking. Inspired by Plato, we strive to amuse children's minds therefore discovering the genius of each. "Do not train youth to learning by force or harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so you may discover with accuracy the regular bent of the genius of each…” –Plato, The Republic

Joanne Vella

Summerhill was in my dreams before I got to know it existed. I heard about summerhill during a lecture and had to Google for more information. When I was among those who visited for the Summerhill experience I totally felt st home. This was the space I always dreamed of and it has been there for almost 100 years. SUMMERHILL is proof that we can work against systems and give better environments where children experience a beautiful childhood and learn life. Since then I ve been reading A.S. Neill and am more motivated to have these dream of mine come through even if its in small doses.

Francesco Codello

I have been an educator my whole life, Summerhill and A.S. Neill’s have been a constant inspiration to work towards compulsory mis-education.