Help Wicklow Sudbury School Grow


Wicklow Sudbury School  is Ireland's first democratic school for self-directed learning. In our school, there is no set curriculum or classes and no mandatory tests. Students decide what and how they want to learn and staff members act as facilitator, supporting students to achieve their goals. All decisions are made through school meetings, which are open to the whole school community, and every member of the school has an equal vote. Wicklow Sudbury opened for its third year in September with 24 students and 5 part-time staff.


There's a large demand for spaces in our school, but we're at capacity in our current location. Since we are not eligible to receive money from the state, expanding our student body will be the primary way that we can be financially sustainable. Having our own building will enable us to raise funds through renting out the space and using it for events, which we are not currently able to do as renters.

We are looking for a suitable premises to move to that is both larger than our current location and zoned for school purposes. We've come to the conclusion that building a custom premises will be our best option, and we've already found a couple prospective building locations in North Wicklow.

Your donations will go towards architectural fees necessary for beginning our building project, which have been quoted to us in three stages:

Stage 1: Feasibility study and initial design
Analysing your brief requirements and presenting initial design proposals
- Measure and draw up a site survey
- Make an appraisal of the site and its architectural possibilities 
- Present a number of proposals in the form of drawings and sketch designs 
- Engage consultants at this stage (planning consultant, etc. if necessary)
Estimated cost: €3000 plus VAT

Stage 2: Developed design of the chosen scheme and a planning application
- Develop the initial proposal into a more developed design
- Finalise the layout of spaces and the materials for construction, as well as incorporating the work of any specialist consultants (if required)
- Decide on optimum renewable energy sources, their impact on the design and future management of the building 
-Prepare the planning drawings and make the application
Estimated cost: €3,600 plus VAT

Stage 3 hasn't been detailed yet, but will involve developing images (€400 each) and a promotional video (€500)


We are at a crucial juncture in Ireland that could decide the future of the Irish education system. Wicklow Sudbury is part of a larger movement to create an education system that listens to students and supports their mental and emotional health instead of damaging it. As the first democratic school in Ireland, our organisation is a vital resource, and we have already helped other democratic schools, like the one that just opened in Sligo and the ones set to open in Galway, Clare and Cork. 

Irish students are calling for changes to the education system. At the 2017 Dail na nOg, the youth parliament of Ireland highlighted not being listened to in school as a major problem. And a related study of Irish young people, 'So How Was School Today? ', demonstrated that student want more active learning and more control over their education. It showed that exams are a massive source of stress, and students become more dissatisfied the longer they are in school. Learning to the test is not only damaging for students' mental health, but it also means they aren't learning the critical thinking skills and intrinsic motivation that are so highly valued in today's work force.

It is clear that change is needed, and Wicklow Sudbury offers young people the option to explore their interests and spend their time immersed in their passions. We're not expecting all schools in Ireland to become democratic, but just the existence of democratic schools shows people that the traditional education system is not the only way.

Please donate to Wicklow Sudbury School and be a part of Ireland's Learning Revolution!


Donations (0)

  • Ruth Buchert 
    • €20 
    • 4 mos
  • Alan Lambert 
    • €40 
    • 12 mos
  • Julie Wilkinson 
    • €50 
    • 12 mos
  • Fergus Feehily 
    • €50 
    • 12 mos
  • Desmond Jay 
    • €300 
    • 12 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Bernard Moran 
Elizabeth O’ Connor 
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