By Alexander Sutherland Neill

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My wife makes a fuss because three small children came after supper and said they were hungry and got bread and jam, and the pieces of bread were found lying in the hallway the next morning. Peter reports sadly that a gang threw his precious clay at each other in the pottery room. So it goes on, the fight between the adult point of view and the juvenile lack of awareness. But the fight never degenerates into personalities; there is no feeling of bitterness against the individual. This conflict keeps Summerhill very much alive.

I asked him why he feared this. “It will do him so much harm,” he said. ” I said pleasantly. He went off rather hurriedly with his son. Then there was the rich mother who, after asking me questions for an hour, turned to her husband and said, “I can’t decide whether to send Marjorie here or not” “Don’t bother,” I said. “I have decided for you. ” I had to explain to her what I meant. “You don’t really believe in freedom,” I said. “If Marjorie came here, I should waste half my life explaining to you what it was all about, and in the end you wouldn’t be convinced.

A Look at Summerhill Let me describe a typical day in Summerhill. Breakfast is from 8:15 to 9. The staff and pupils carry their breakfast from the kitchen across to the dining room. Beds are supposed to be made by 9:30, when lessons begin. At the beginning of each term, a timetable is posted. Thus, Derek in the laboratory may have Class I on Monday, Class II on Tuesday, and so on. I have a similar timetable for English and mathematics; Maurice for geography and history. The younger children (aged seven to nine) usually stay with their term teacher most of the morning, but they also go to Science or - the Art Room.

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