Summerhill Centenary

How excited are we all about the upcoming One Hundred Years of Summerhill? SO excited!

2021 will be a year of local, national and international celebration of A.S. Neill’s educational philosophy and one hundred years of Summerhill School.

What an achievement! That daydreamer of a Scotsman with his crazy ideas about education, reviled by the popular press, misunderstood and misrepresented at every turn, this little ‘experiment’

now comes of age to truly show that freedom for children works and to bring to the 21st century many important lessons about education and emotional growth. It could not come to the fore at a better time in history.

So, this will be an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the inspirations A.S. Neill gave us as a child, parent, student, teacher, educator, school, university or business.

First of all, we are kicking off the celebrations with a residential weekend at Summerhill in August 2019.

The Summerhill Experience

For the first time ever, we are inviting people to spend a weekend with us and really learn how Summerhill works – How do we do Safeguarding Children? How do we prepare for school inspections? What exams do we offer? How do our teachers approach their roles? How do the pupils feel about their own roles and lives in the school and afterwards?

It will include A.S. Neill’s founding principles, the famous Self-Government Meetings, policies, paperwork, teaching and a chance to talk to adults and pupils. It is also a chance to just hang out in this unique historic environment and chill!

Profits will go to the building of the new A.S. Neill Centre that we are planning on the school grounds. This event will be in the school holiday time and it is designed for adults.

Further information will be displayed on our website and Facebook pages. To express interest in attending contact the 100th Birthday email:

This brings us neatly to the new A.S. Neill Centre at Summerhill. We are already in the planning stage of our new enterprise to celebrate one hundred years of Summerhill and to pay respect to the founder A.S. Neill. We feel there is a real need for an archive and discussion/conference room alongside an area for research. By taking the pressure off the actual school itself, we will be able to offer more visiting days as well as other things without it impacting on the school community. Although we are very happy to have visitors, it can be difficult and can infringe on school life somewhat. For a number of years now we have not felt able to offer internships for this reason, but the new centre should help to meet this need.

Other possible ideas for the centenary have been an Arts Festival, a celebration party in London, perhaps a New Year’s Eve party at Summerhill as the year turns to 2021 – maybe linking up over the internet with other schools or groups of people worldwide, a residential weekend for friends of Summerhill to celebrate in August 2021 and, of course, the next Summerhill School pupils’ reunion... these are just very early thoughts and suggestions. If anybody has any ideas, do please get in touch –

We really want everyone to participate in celebrating Summerhill’s 100th!

Some ways you could get involved with the 100th Birthday celebrations...

Send us a 100-second video to be shared worldwide, telling us how A.S. Neill inspired you and/or affected your life?

Tell us how you intend to celebrate in 2021? We look forward to receiving your ideas and photos!

Tell us what Summerhill has meant to Newsletter readers and what it still means.

Tell us how being associated with Summerhill has impacted upon your life.

Get creative with your ideas...

Some ways you could get involved with the A.S. Neill Centre...

We are really excited to announce that fundraising for the A.S. Neill Centre has already begun. You could support us with a personal donation or you could organise your own celebration and fundraising event. All contributions will be acknowledged. Please send your donations to the A.S. Neill Summerhill Trust and clearly state that your contribution is to fund the building of the Centre.

If you want to get involved in any way please contact us at:

Very Best to you all, Zoë