Radical spirit of AS Neill has sadly died out

21st January 2011 at 00:00

I attended the Summerhill court hearing in 2001 ("Send us your memories of a 90-year-old", Letters, January 14) and while I find the school too radical, I still admire its founder and the school generally.

Unfortunately, AS Neill's influence appears to have declined. Those in charge of the state system laud certain academies that insist on uniforms and petty rules, schools that are the antithesis of Summerhill.

Even some of the more Summerhill-like state schools, such as Holland Park comprehensive and the Pimlico Academy, have now become stricter. Why doesn't someone set up an academy or free school that is free of uniforms, petty rules, and the "school-homework-bed" lifestyle?

Mark Taha, Sydenham, London.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today