Save Wicklow Sudbury School

€1,929 of €35,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 1 month

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 has been open for two years now, and the school community has expanded to 24 students and 5 part-time staff.


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 two other democratic schools that are set to open in Sligo 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.


There's a large demand for spaces in our school, but we're reaching 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.

It's in our long-term plans to change the policies that exclude democratic schools from state funding, but, in the meantime, we want to be able to pay our staff living wage (they are all currently working half paid and half unpaid) and offer free spaces in our school to low-income families.

We are looking for a suitable premises to move to that is both larger than our current location and zoned for school purposes. (If anyone reading this knows of a suitable building, please contact wicklowsudbury@gmail.com ). Until we can relocate, we need support to meet our regular expenses. If we can't continue to pay rent and wages, we may not be able to open next school year at all.

We've set our fundraising goals at 35,000 because that's about half of what it will cost for us to stay open in our current location next year. We can afford the other half through student tuition.

Donations will primarily go towards rent (around 3,500 per month) and wages (1500 euro per month - each staff member earns 300 euro per month).

Please donate to Wicklow Sudbury School and be a part of Ireland's Learning Revolution! Any amount helps, and if you really want to support our cause, you can click here to set up a monthly donation.

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€1,929 of €35,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 1 month
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Tommy Murphy
6 days ago
Joanna Abazari
6 days ago
Kinga Paszko
7 days ago
Declan Burke
7 days ago
Chris and Cliona Judge
8 days ago
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13 days ago
Emma and Mike Mulvaney
14 days ago
Andrew & Fiona Judge
14 days ago
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