independent

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Sudbury School's fundraising campaign for permanent home

School grows too big for its Kilpedder base

Students and staff at the Sudbury School in Kilpedder
Students and staff at the Sudbury School in Kilpedder

Myles Buchanan

Ireland's first democratically run school, Wicklow Sudbury School, has launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to go toward the construction of a permanent home.

The school opened in Kilpedder three years ago and currently has 23 students and 5 members of staff. The school's current location only has capacity for up to 30 students and won't be able to house the growing school numbers.

'We have just about reached our capacity. We have a waiting list and will be taking on more students during the course of the school year. We face a lot of challenges and aren't entitled to Government funding. Even getting grants is proving difficult,' said Rachel Kuhn.

Wicklow Sudbury School is Ireland's first democratic school for self-directed learning. Students are free to determine their own learning path and structure their days in whatever way works for them. All students and staff have an equal vote, and everyone is entitled to have a say on all decisions and rule making. Students vary in age from 6 up to 18.

Students attending the school come from the likes of Bray and Greystones in north Wicklow, but also from the east of the county and the south. Other students travel from north Dublin and County Kildare.

'This is the very early stages of our campaign. We will be more than likely looking for a new build so we need to look around and see what is around, We know the whole process will take two to three years. We would like to remain in the same general area and may need another interim school in the meantime to cope with the level of demand from students' said Rachel.

A number of fundraisers are in the pipeline, including a dinner and raffle due to take place in November. Wicklow Sudbury has launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign at gofundme.com/grow-wicklow-sudbury-school.

Funds from this campaign will go towards the architectural fees needed to begin the process of building a permanent home.

The success of the fundraising campaign would not only mean that Wicklow Sudbury could continue to become more sustainable and equitable, it would also mean they could help other Sudbury schools to open across the country, like the one that just opened in Sligo and the ones set to open in Cork, Dublin and Galway.

Bray People

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