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.

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