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,


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.

Emanuele Santanche


Certainly Summerhill changed my life. I discovered it reading one of Anthony De Mello's books. He recommended to read Summerhill, the book, paying more attention than we would reading the Bible. He was right. I also read a lot of books by Erich Fromm, the Prophet of Love. He praises Neill and his intuition that freedom is how you make children happy and cure Humanity's problems. Wars, conflicts, crime and obsessions originate from unhappiness. Neill's ideas helped me build my website about teenage depression. Thanks to Neill I now understand that freedom is one of the best antidepressants in the world. That Summerihill survived the attacks our profoundly sick society launched against it gives me hope that we may make it. I wish Summerhill to survive and thrive for another century and way more.

Peter Rawitsch

I got my calling to become an early childhood educator at the age of 15 when I read the book Summerhill by A.S. Neill. I brought my enthusiasm for the Arts into my 1st grade classroom for 38 years in upstate New York. My goal was to teach a little more like Mr. Rogers and a little less like Sesame Street. I remember when 1st grade had a block corner. Today I am a public school activist who speaks (and occasionally sings) at School Board meetings in Wilmington, North Carolina about safety, equity, and developmentally appropriate practices.

Nathan Clutterbuck


Summerhill is the fibre of my being, body and sole. It's a part of every decision I make, every reaction and stretch of love. I wouldn't be Nathan, and people I now call my family, without it.


The bright highlight of my life ~ was my 4 months as a paid staff-person at a Sudbury-Model School. To participate and witness in action all the daily celebrations of freedom -- for our small group of "young citizens" -- what an ultimate confirmation of true benefits of self-leadership within our self-regulated society of learning! Thanks to the efforts of A.S Neill and so many others at Summerhill -- 'tis such a heart-warming sense of relief -- to know that "freedom and democracy in learning" can work, and for such a long time! Yay!

Warabe Tatekoji (Warabe T)


A Summerhill parent & ex-Summerhillian. Just love everything Summerhill! I started making music when I was a student at Summerhill & my love of music has grown & grown ever since!