School Meeting and democratic structure

This is the heart of the school. We have chosen to use the Sudbury School model as the starting point for the schools democratic structure. To this we have added that a two-thirds majority is required to create or amend rules.

School  Meeting

  • the School Meeting decides on all matters concerning the school and meets weekly
  • at each meeting the students and staff decide on someone to keep records
  • anyone can add a topic for discussion to the agenda which will be posted on the notice board
  • the meeting is chaired by a student who keeps the chair for a defined number of weeks
  • the School Meeting consists of students and staff and each person has an equal vote
  • a simple majority is required to set up a new rule or to amend a rule
  • a law book contains the schools rules

Committees and clerks

Committees and departments are to be set up off the main School Meeting to address specific issues and put into action certain plans and reach desired goals. They are answerable to the school council but work independently.

  • a Justice Committee (JC) will be set up to look at infringements to the rules. The JC will investigate complaints, hold hearings, listen to all sides involved and gather evidence. It comes to conclusions and decides on penalties when rules are broken. It is made up of students and staff which change frequently. This enables every member of the school community to gain experience in that role.
  • committees can be set up by the school council to look after specific long term issues e.g. premises and building committee could look after maintenance and furnishings.
  • departments can be set up and disbanded around the interests of students. A department may be set up if students are interested in a topic to study and the school council can divert funding to a department to spend on facilities, equipment, teachers etc.
  • clerks can be appointed to look after specific tasks such as keeping attendance records, after-hours school use, looking after the office etc.

Related links:

Article: Sudbury Valley one person one vote
YouTube: Sudbury Valley Judicial Committee

Legal Structure

Wicklow Sudbury School is an association and a registered Irish charity (CHY 22018).

Irish Law and The Sudbury Model

Financing the school

The school receives no state funding at this time. School operation is funded by school fees, fundraising activities and donations.