What a little money can do…
We set up Summerhill Democratics to help schools that want to follow the model of democratic education embodied in A.S. Neill’s Summerhill School. Our work consists in helping schools give children real freedoms, stepping back as teachers and adults and allowing children to grow into adulthood without being measured, assessed and bossed around.
Summerhill Democratics is a non-profit organisation. This means that the money that we are given in donations is ALL reinvested in the programme to help schools become better. I want to tell you how we will be using the money we receive.
- We have a small home office where we offer Skype consultations to school founders. This is a helping hand for leaders who need an independent view on their progress. There are basic office expenses we have to cover.
- We offer long-term mentoring for new start-ups. For example, Leonard is going to Lithuania to help with the setting up of a new democratic school. This inevitably involves travel and living expenses whilst he is away. We would like to offer more of these mentoring relationships and, as we grow, contract trusted partners to offer this service. We calculate that 3000€ would cover the expenses of a year-long mentoring relationship.
- We offer training for democratic school teachers, leaders and administrators. These are intensive courses where the accommodation, food and speakers’ fees must be covered.
- We promote Summerhill Democratics through the media by giving interviews, speeches, conferences and presentations. Donations help us to take the time to pursue these avenues.
- We offer our partners packets of information that will help them to manage spaces, sort out the legal documentation of their schools, write policy statements, work effectively with timetables with a reduced curriculum, manage staff and develop growth plans. This takes time and money to produce.
Summerhill Democratics also promotes the idea of democratic education in the larger political arena. We need funding to do this.