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,


Silas Szalai

age 13 i stumbled over neill's book ~ a radical approach in our family library. suprisingly it reflected and gave the way my dad, who was a teacher aswell, raised me a name A.S.Neill. summerhill became my vision of how i thought and dreamed a school should and can be. inspired by that i became an early childhood educator which for me is my passion and a way to transmit and implement neills ideas and methods of his educational approach. neills ideas and his philosophy of a free and individual development is the essence of a natural, healthy and positiv childhood. giving children the possibility and the right to make their own choices and to live in a community that does not evaluate but value each other. equality and love ~ sharing and caring my deep admiration and gratefulness goes out to A.S.Neill aswell to all summerhill family members and friends for 100 years. to another 100 years 🌸🌸🌸🌸 love is the law

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

John Walmsley


I feel like an honorary Summerhillian. In 1968, a student photographer at Art School, I heard of Summerhill and, with Neill's permission, came and took the photos which became the basis for my book, 'Neill & Summerhill: a man and his work', a Penguin Education Special with a text by Leila Berg (Abe Books might have used copies if you'd like one). A copy can be viewed in the National Art Library at the V&A Museum, London. Those photos and others from 2010 and 2011 are all on my website listed above. Please go have a look but please, please do not make copies or post them to social media. Since then, I've been a part-time lecturer at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, lived in an Arts Centre with many other artists, run projects in schools and supplied photos to 1,000+ books worldwide. One photo of Neill is now in the National Portrait Gallery, London. My biggest memory of the school is feeling at home right away.

Peter Foti


I have read most of the books of Neill, was very much influenced by him. Later on I think he was a romantic, in some ways irresponsible. Still like the idea of limited self government, the joint meetings where pupils and staff has equal rights.

Pal Laszlo


As a Summerhill parent I'd say the School has changed our life as a family completely. We moved country, and since then we changed the way we think of learning and bringing up children.

Stephen Pitts

Ive worked with children and adults of all types in classrooms and outdoor environments. The words and work of A.S. Neil and those inspired by him have served as anything from an inspiration future projects to a pick me up when looking at long term plans.