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Learn about our admissions process and find out how to become a member
of West Cork Sudbury School's community.
We welcome you!

How to start your journey...

Throughout the enrolment process, we will work with you to determine if there is a good fit between your family and West Cork Sudbury School, as well as to provide students with the information they need to make their own decision about enrolment.


We as WCSS staff are here to answer any additional questions you may have. In keeping with the ethos of the school, it is important the potential student is well informed so they are able to make their own decision to attend WCSS.

Inform yourself...

It is important that you inform yourself and discuss with your child what self-directed learning means and the democratic education philosophy to see if you agree with its ethos and standards.

We recommend extensive reading of our website, especially the FAQs and other available resources on the Sudbury model (see our Library for recommendations) before deciding whether this model will be a good fit for you and your child(ren).

We also hold regular Democratic Education film and talk events at WCSS which can be extremely beneficial for meeting with and talking to staff and other current and prospective parents and students. Please see Events for dates!

admissios procedure



The first step is to let us know you are interested in enroling your child with us.

To do that, please fill in the Expression of Interest Form, send it back to us and pay the €50 admissions contribution.



If places are available we will inform you of your membership dues, then invite you to a first meeting, just for parents, to discuss the school ethos.

If you are happy with where the process is going we will invite your child for a second meeting to discuss the workings of the school. Subsequent meetings may be scheduled to ensure that parents and students have a clear understanding of the
philosophy, to discuss practicalities and to ensure clarity around expectations.



If everyone agrees, we will start a 6 week test run.

A start date can be offered earliest two weeks after the last meeting.

Please note: A deposit is due up front!


If the family is happy at the end of the test run, we will start the 2 week evaluation phase, during which all community members are involved in the decision of enrolment.

If evaluation is successful, the student will be enroled.

If not, your deposit will be refunded minus the 6 weeks test run period.

Please note:

There is a three month cancellation notice after enrolment.

Placements are offered based on availability.

For more information see:


West Cork Sudbury School welcomes students who can thrive in our community

and we welcome families of every composition.


We do not discriminate on any of the nine grounds outlined in the Equal Status Act (2000-2015) in the administration of our educational policies, admissions policies, application process,  assistance programmes, and other school administered policies.

Throughout the academic year West Cork Sudbury School enrols students from ages 5 to 18. Students are continually joining at all ages, coming from various environments

including homeschooling and mainstream schooling.


All enrolments begin with a 6 week Test Run followed by a 2 week evaluation phase, on completion of which

the enrolment is subject to the two following criteria:


The school community and the family believe that the student

can thrive at West Cork Sudbury School.


The student chooses to join the school community.

Once the above criteria are met,

a minimum commitment of 1 year is required to confirm the enrolment.

In case you decide to terminate the enrolment there is a 3 months cancellation period.

Safety is of paramount importance at West Cork Sudbury School and all school members must be developmentally able to understand and independently follow our school safety

and acceptable behaviour agreements. Our school is self‑governed by students and staff and all school members must be capable of adhering to the community‑made agreements.

However if you feel your child does not meet this criteria please contact us as this can be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Policy Considerations
The Board of Management has an obligation to ensure the long-term stability and diversity of the school community and reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in the school at any time, bearing in mind:

  • Health & Safety concerns, with regards to staff and children

  • Available space and resources

  • The individual needs of the existing members of the school community

  • The availability of appropriate supports and resources

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available at a certain intake, places will be offered at the next available intake date.

Where selection is required, the Enrolment Committee and the School Meeting have the authority to prioritise applicants based on the date of receipt of completed applications form.



At each intake the available places will be allocated over our four age ranges.

Should the quota for an age range not be filled, then these places may be reallocated to the nearest available age range:

up to 7 years, 8-10 years, 11-13 years, 14+ years.

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