30th SEPTEMBER – 5th OCTOBER 2021

Here you can view the IDEC schedule for detailed descriptions, participating and offering your own session please sign in here 

The Summerhill Festival of Childhood is a community and family-friendly event that will bring together many exciting projects, collaborations, workshops, presentations and performances based on art, craft, educational and child rearing approaches, psychology, sustainability, community and children’s rights for the participants. It will also have an international conference approach and will facilitate seminars, talks and focus group discussions.
Due to the global pandemic we meet online for 2021 and in person in 2022.

Our online event will include the International Democratic Education Conference 2021 which we are proud to host. IDEC2021 is the annual meeting of the global Democratic Education community and has been organised by schools or relative organisations from various parts of the world for more than 25 years. We are also being joined by many people and organisations from all over the world and our community continues to grow every day.

Our plans for the online event include transmission of content via three channels, 24 hours a day for 6 -almost full- days in various languages. Some of the sessions will be scheduled but we also offer plenty of open space for whoever wishes to organise their own session. In addition a “world cafe” space will be available for every participant to have informal discussions if they choose. We plan to record as many of the lectures and workshops as possible so that we can stream them in different time zones in order to give the opportunity to everyone to enjoy as much of the programme as possible. 

Our vision:
Celebrating 100 years of Summerhill School and the inspirations A.S.Neill has given the world.
Celebrating childhood as a critical period of time for all of us and for the future of humanity.

Our mission:
To strengthen the sense of unity amongst organisations and individuals who are promoting and actively working towards positive change within education, childrearing and community.

To maximise their global impact by functioning as an incubator and accelerator of future collaborations, partnerships, alliances and movements for a more humane and sustainable future for us all.

Our values:
Our aim is to celebrate equality, children’s rights, creativity, well being, relieving pressures from childhood and embracing the values of:
Individuality. Celebrating uniqueness, self-awareness, self-regulation and self-direction.
Play. Celebrating the importance of free, pure and uninterrupted play.
Freedom not licence. Celebrating unconditional acceptance deriving from equality and the right to be oneself without infringing on other people’s freedom.
Community. Celebrating the capacity of inclusive and supportive communities to foster personal and social development, sustainability and healthy relationships towards societal change.
Emotional sincerity. Celebrating emotional honesty as an essential condition for social emotional development and a more humane world.

The fundraising campaign

To stay true to our values and principles, we are organising our online festival to be free registration so that we give everyone the opportunity to participate. A large amount of the preparation and the realisation of our online event is based on the work of our amazing volunteers.
Still we have to cover the costs of the technical part (communication platforms, web design, technical support before, during and after the event), the promotion part and the copyright fees for the films we will be screening.
We are organising this reward based fundraising campaign to give you the opportunity to support us to make this wonderful online festival a reality, and get some lovely prizes whilst doing it. 

We are offering a variety of perks from Summerhill itself, the festival, IDEC and friends, all of which contributing to support the event and to give you something lovely or a memory to treasure for your kind support. 

We chose natural and environmentally friendly materials and plastic free packages while supporting small businesses and independent young artists.

Please share our campaign far and wide even if you can’t afford to support us financially. Spreading the word will give the opportunity to more people to participate in the festival. 

We thank you warmly for your support and hope to see you during both our online and in person festival.