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,


Marthese Morris

A primary school teacher for over 20 years. This spring I read the book neil neil orange peel and loved it. My twin sister Joanne visited summerhill school last summer ..I was suppose to join her but dates collided with family events. I love being a teacher but I see a gap between schooling and education. Sometimes the gap is so big that I question our work day in day out.

Jake Russell


I was a Summerhill kid from 2001 to 2005. I had a hard time in French schools, having difficulties following society's rhythm. In Summerhill I could live with my own rhythm and that is what I loved about that school.

Sara Hunjak

How I am studying educational sciences, it was impossible to avoid Summerhill school. Ever since my first paper about Summerhill, I knew that democratic education is the only type of education I will ever be interested about. Following Summerhill's philosophy, I'm allowing and letting people around me to do freely whatever they want to, as long as it's not hurting me.



Inspired by the experience of Summerhill and by A.S. Neill literature, we, educators, specialists and friends, founded Associazione Gorilla with the aim to offer children and teens the opportunity to experience Freedom through self-government. We are based in Rome and the revolutionary impulse of Summerhill reaches us vigorously!

Helena Singer

I have been mapping and connecting innovative, democratic, holistic, changemaker schools in Brazil and with their peers in the world since 1993, when I took part in an international meeting at Summerhill.

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.