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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!

Admissions will be reviewed on an ongoing basis with the school's sustainability, diversity and stability in mind.

Please note:

We are accepting applications for ages up to 16. Families should be aware of the challenges older children face transitioning from directed schooling to self-directed education.

For successful enrolment, it is important that the entire family is fully committed to the Sudbury model.

In order to be added to our waiting list,

please submit an EOI form and pay the €50 admission contribution per family.

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:

Please see below or WCSS's Enrolment Policy for information on the Notice Period.

Placements are offered based on availability.

For more information see:


West Cork Sudbury School (WCSS) 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 Acts 2000-2018 and adhere to WCSS’s Diversity & Inclusion Policy in the administration of our educational policies, enrolment policies, solidarity fund, and other school-administered policies.  

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

Safety is of paramount importance at WCSS and all school members must be developmentally able to understand and independently follow our policies and procedures referring to students' safety and well-being at school. 

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. 

The role of guardians/parents is to provide support for their child through upholding philosophies, policies and practices of democratic education at WCSS, and by making a commitment to practical contributions as appropriate. 


Throughout the academic year, WCSS enrols students from ages five to eighteen.

Students are continually joining at all ages, coming from various environments including home schooling and mainstream schooling.

All enrolments begin with a six week Test Run, followed by an approximate two week evaluation phase, on completion of which the enrolment is subject to the two following criteria:

  • The school community and the student’s family believe that the student can thrive at WCSS;

  • The student chooses to join the school community.

Once the above criteria are met, a minimum commitment of one year is required

to confirm the enrolment.

In case a family decides to terminate the enrolment,

there are three notice dates to make WCSS aware of a cancellation notice:

  • 30th November

  • 31st March

  • 31st July

Notice period: The student will stay enroled up to the next notice date. The family is not required to pay the next installment and instead the deposit will cover the notice period.

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 students in the school at any time, bearing in mind:

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

  • 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. In this case a waiting list will be put in place for families who have completed the Expression of Interest form (EOI) and paid the admissions contribution. Where selection is required, the Enrolment Committee and the Board of Management have the authority to prioritise applicants based on the date of receipt of completed EOI form and/or based on age quotas below. 

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:


5-6 years, 7-9 years, 10-12 years, 13+ years.

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