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 

Zachary Bastiani

It’s inspired me to be free and helped me to enjoy having a better life

Effie Latifi

I am a mother of two boys aged 11 and 5 and we live in Athens, Greece. Seeing the devastating effects that the typical educational system can have to children leading them to lose any interest on learning or at the other extreme making them grade and success hunters while compromising their natural curiosity and inclinations made me look for different approaches to education. The forest school Pefkites in Athens introduced me to the Summerhill ideas and now the more I read about Summerhill the more I realise that this is the kind of education children throughout the world need and deserve. Democratic practices and an environment that allows the children to unfold their personalities and experiment with their creativity is in my opinion the healthiest base that ensures that children will live their childhood while learning and thus will become openminded and full of empathy adults. I am inspired to look for like minded parents and educators in Greece to see if we can make a school based on the Summerhill principles. I strongly believe that the Summerhill approach should be widespread. As a mom I am doing my best to trasmit these principles to my sons and hopefully inspire them.

Esther

My German school teacher told me to do a presentation on Summerhill School when I was 16 years old. He said I would probably quite like their Philosophy. He knew me better then I thought. I absolutely love it and Summerhill influenced my way of thinking about education ever since. I started working at Summerhill in the year 2000 as a German teacher and Class 1 assistant, later also taught English as a Foreign Language and now I'm the Shack Houseparent and a passionate gardener. I always enjoy some art and craft projects and cooking with the younger kids. And I guess with them I'm best known as the one who opens and cleans the pool.

MARO TZOUMERKIOTI

WEBSITE

Greek association about democratic education and emancipatory pedagoge. We are fighting for the right of all children to a happy and creative childhood. Our dream is that one day we can establish democratic schools in our country.

burcak morhayim

The first time I heard about Summerhill was 2005 when we -3 students - were preparing for the 1st International Alternative Education Symposium in Turkey. All doubts disappeared when I read that all of our dreams, ideas about education was not just Shangri-la and was actually possible. That was so empowering and one of the sources of that spark, motivation came from was A.S. Summerhill and his book. If we are building such schools in Turkey today, we owe a huge thank you to Summerhill as well as others.

Peter Foti

WEBSITE

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.