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,


Emilie Gonzalez

Hello! Just finished reading "Summerhill Hoy" (in spanish) by Zoe Neill. Im a bilingual preschool teacher from a small country called Costa Rica. I try to be a very open minded and flexible teacher, working a lot with nature and open materials. Your school seems like paradise, so i want to research more about it! Im impressed that is an old school, it seems just perfect for nowadays.


I am the mother of two children. I have read many books in the process of raising children. I have read "Summerhill School" and "Graduate of Summerhill School" twice. Summerhill's Approach, including social & emotional development, the meeting and laws, play, community life, learning, is attract me deeply. I see that children are born to be good. The learning effect based on internal driving force is very different from the learning effect instilled by parents. Children’s creativity is far beyond our imagination, as long as we believe in them, they have the ability to manage themselves well. I am happy to learn that on the 100th anniversary of Summerhill School, they envisage to accommodate a variety of educational programmes, courses, events, research projects and other activities offering an in-depth understanding of the Summerhill values in relation to education, community and humanity.


i read neils books when i was 13 and since he has beeen my hero. Dy dream was when i was a kid to .visit Summerhill.Thousand years later been a mother now Iam very greatfull that Summerhill exists and Iam very proud that one day soon I can show the school to my dauther

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.


I was a student,in the early 1970's for a year ( I was 12 / 13 at the time).. Interviewed by Ena but I also remember I spoke with AS ( he was in a wheel chair at the time ). I was accepted because I was the only person from NZ to apply at the time. I remember the older boys lived in the carriages. I got to hear a lot of music, the school meetings..going to & not going to classs , making banger rocketts, bike rides thru the countryside .......but I think the greatest thing that I think I carry with me is that its ok to be & to think differently. long before Apple Ads.

Monika Irayati


A summerhill website page which contains a poem by AS Neil back in 2005 inspired us to question the purpose of our education in general. Because of that we started a children after school activities that evolve into a democratic school in 2012. The school name is Erudio Indonesia. It is located in Jakarta, Indonesia. Since then we have been building network of alternative education all over the country to promote the concept of education that give a child the freedom to be themselves and to define their own purpose of learning and also the freedom to choose their own way of learning. We are also being part of democratic education conference (Asia Pacific and International Democratic Education Conferences) and before the pandemic happened we are scheduled to host the APDEC in 2022.