Ireland’s first Democratic School is in Urgent Need of a New Home

Wicklow Sudbury School, Ireland’s first democratic school for self-directed learning, is urgently seeking a new building to accommodate its growing community. Wicklow Sudbury is a registered charity which first opened in September 2016 and currently enrols 27 students with a significant number of interested families looking for a place for their child(ren) at the school. Due to this strong demand, the school is urgently seeking a larger property.

Wicklow Sudbury is appealing to the greater community of North County Wicklow to help them search for a new location for the school. The property would ideally be zoned for educational or commercial use or have high potential to have such a use approved; be accessible by public transportation; have ample outdoor space; and be at least 600 square meters.

A school such as this would be a fantastic addition to any community. The students are responsible, have a desire to get engaged in the wider community and share what they learn through concerts, performances and other gatherings they organise themselves.

On a broader note, Wicklow Sudbury is part of an important movement in the Irish education system. Students and staff have an equal vote in all decision-making, and students share the responsibility of running the school through various committees and clerkships. At the same time, students have freedom to determine their own learning paths and how to spend each day.

Wicklow Sudbury School is reflective of calls from Irish young people to have more influence over their own education. Or as one staff puts it: “We’ve seen that giving students more freedom results in young people who are more engaged, confident, self-motivated and resilient. We would like more young people to experience the type of education offered in Wicklow Sudbury School, but to make that a reality, we urgently need to be able to expand.”

If you have any contacts that would be useful for their search or would like to get involved yourself, please email them directly at wicklowsudbury@gmail.com. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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