Read About What's New & What's Happened

14th November 2022

WCSS Christmas Market is BACK!

A FREE event, with crafts, gifts, yummy treats, pre-loved clothes and more.
Time & Location
Saturday 10th December, 11:00 – 17:00 GMT

Coomhola Lodge, Coomhola, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland

FREE to attend & NO tickets required. All proceeds will go to West Cork Sudbury School and StreamScapes.

Read more

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13th November 2022

Best of the West - Pop Up Restaurant & Live Music

Please join us for a benefit evening of fine dining and music in support of our West Cork Sudbury School.

Date & Time: 27 Nov, 18:30 GMT
Location: Coomhola, Co. Cork, Ireland

The evening will include a gourmet meal prepared to the highest standard by our professional chef, who will cook in a large open kitchen beside the dining area in a luxurious house in Coomhola, Bantry near the school. Guests can enjoy a soulful live music set with Swara songs, gentle ballads to soft grooving beats. followed by DJ music and dancing. 

Read more

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10th October 2022

Plant a Tree, Grow a School

We're very excited to announce the launch of our inspiring Plant a Tree, Grow a School project. Read on to find out how you can take part - plant a native tree, help the environment and support self-directed, democratic learning at the West Cork Sudbury School (WCSS).

WCSS has teamed up with Future Forests nursery. Our mission is to raise funds for our school and reforest small pockets of native Irish woodland. These woodlands will become arks for wildlife, be left to grow for posterity and do all the amazing things that trees and woodlands do.

Read more

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23rd August 2022

Sudbury offers a different approach to education
West Cork People Article

Nice wee write-up on our school in West Cork People's August Issue - p26!

If you have any questions about the school, want to find out about enrolling your child, or can help with funding, please visit the website or email

Read more

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4th July 2022

The kids make the big decisions
by JJ O'Donoghue & Emer Walsh

The far from conventional West Cork Sudbury School (WCSS) focuses on taking a radical approach to learning and teaching. While the school is only up and running less than two years, it's built on a long-standing model that aims to give students more agency and power in how they should be educated, and how a school should be managed.

The school opened its doors in a former hostel in the town of Glengarriff, West Cork in September 2020 and a group in Cork city are already looking to open up another one.

How does a school without teachers and a curriculum work?

Read more

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9th June 2022

Music, Movie & Mayhem

In 1969, nine young ordinary men set out on an extraordinary 3-year-long world trip in Pillock II, a double-decker bus. From this they produced an amazing feature length film, Pillock Conquers the World.

Join us for a 3-Day Celebration and Fundraiser! Having busked their way around the world with folk music and Irish songs, the Pillock crew have decided to commence the celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of their return in 1972 by visiting Bantry, and helping support 2 worthy causes in the process.

Along with 2 of the original members of the group, this well-travelled double-decker bus will arrive in Bantry town square on the evening of Friday 17th June to begin a fundraising weekend for our West Cork Sudbury School and the Bantry Lions’ Suicide Awareness Drop-in Centre.

Read more

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19th February 2022

At the Sudbury School in West Cork there are no teachers, there's no homework nor is there a curriculum. Plans are underway to open a similar democratic school in Cork City
by JJ O'Donoghue

 From conception to opening its doors WCSS got going quite quickly, which Jessica says is a testament to the core group [...] who got the school up and running in around two years. Not all in the core group are parents, nor do they all have kids in the school, but what unites them all is a dedication to build the first democratic school in County Cork.

Jessica is at pains to say that they didn’t open in opposition to mainstream schooling, or to criticise it. She says that while main stream schooling works for some, it doesn’t for others.

“But I think for a lot of people they’re questioning what the curriculum aims to achieve - what are we educating for? Because the curriculum was essentially written twenty years ago and we live in a time of accelerated change.”

Read more

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22nd June 2021

An article about WCSS in the Echo
at the end of our first year
by John Bohane

“We see a lot more confidence in our students,” Ms Mason-Little says.
“Seeing an eight-year-old speak out in a school meeting is amazing.

They might not have been able to do that at the start of the school year. We have a wide catchment area, as we are the only alternative non-denominational school in the area. We have also had two families relocate to this area to join the school. People want this choice for their children."

Getting the project off the ground required a lot of hard work, with a lack of funding a huge obstacle. Ms Mason-Little paid tribute to both the staff and the parents for their support in enabling the ambitious project.

“There was a lot of work behind the scenes and that is still ongoing,” Ms Mason-Little says. “One of our biggest challenges is if you don’t teach the curriculum, you don’t get any government funding. We had to self-fund the school. So much of it has been done on voluntary hours. A lot of goodwill has helped us pull it off this year. We have very supportive parents." Read more

Onwards and Upwards!

Thank you.

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24th December 2020

Charity Status

On Christmas Eve 2020...
...WCSS received the gift of becoming an official charity!
Our charity details are: 
Registered number: 20206027.
The Charitable Donation Scheme allows tax relief on qualifying donations made to approved bodies.
If an individual donates €250 or more in a year, the approved body can claim a refund of tax paid on that donation.
If a company donates €250 or more in a year, the company can claim a tax deduction as if the donation was a trading expense.
To find out more please visit:

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see Events

Ongoing Info-Meetings  !! paused due to Covid-19 !!

Starting December 2019 we will be hosting regular Info-Meetings on specific topics. For example:

  • The Democratic Process & School structure

  • What is 'deschooling', how does it happen and how long does it take?

  • Daily Workings and Role of Parents

  • Admission

  • ...

Please see Events for dates!

Founders West Cork Sudbury School

see Events

Teen Q & A Facebook Watch Party

West Cork Sudbury School is pleased to bring you a live Q&A session

with the very inspiring Wicklow Sudbury School teens!


We had the pleasure of meeting them at a Democratic Education conference last year. All of us were so impressed and inspired by each and every one of these individuals.

Just so you know, in a ‘watch party’ you will be watching a live Zoom conference call. You can type your questions through our Facebook page and the moderator can then read them out.

Please see Events for more info!

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10th June 2020

An article about WCSS in the Southern Star
by Jackie Keogh

"A new school in West Cork aims to encourage children to direct their own education, an initiative that the Sudbury School believes will inspire life-long learning. [...] Jessica outlined how this community-led initiative is gaining mainstream momentum following the lockdown of the past three months and the long-term restrictions, which are likely to continue due to the 2m distancing rule and other guidelines. [...] The Sudbury Model embraces diversity, creativity and allows children to follow their own educational interests, but that does not mean they are left to their own devices. The school will be founded on freedom, trust, respect and responsibility, and, at its core, is a school meeting. It is at the meeting that both the staff members and the children discuss the running of the school.''


Unfortunately, there is no online resource available for this article.

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28th May 2020

Cork's 96 FM Interview

Tune in at 1h43m to hear Jess and Tracy talk with Deirdre on the Opinion Line about the self-directed learning, age mixing, third level education and their own experiences. 

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27th June 2019

Echo Article by Cammy Harley

EVERY year around state exam time, a cartoon circulates on Facebook depicting an adjudicator stating to an audience of a monkey, an elephant, a goldfish, a penguin and a seal: ‘For a fair selection, everybody has to climb that tree’.

Needless to say, only the monkey looks happy about the prospect, and it is obviously unfair on the others to be measured by that particular ability.

Could the same argument be made about our state exams? If so, a new type of education may be needed. Read more

Fair selection cartoon

1st July 2019

Cork's 96 FM Interview

Tune in at 1h48m to hear Tracy and Becky talk with PJ Coogan on the Opinion Line about the Sudbury Model, their own experiences and the set-up of WCSS. 

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9th November 2019

Democratic Education Ireland Conference

Last weekend the WCSS Team attended the inaugural Democratic Education Ireland conference, hosted by the Wicklow and Sligo Sudbury schools.

The conference was attended by staff and students from these two schools, as well as staff from the Oak Sudbury in Middelton, and members of the core groups of a further five school start-ups.

This is a great affirmation of the strength in this movement, that Ireland has gone from two to eight schools in 2 years, and just how much demand there is for an educational alternative. 

One of the objectives of the weekend was to bring the schools together for support and solidarity in the work they are doing, and to learn from the experience of the schools that are already open.

Democratic Ireland conference

17/06/2022: >> Coming Full Circle <<

14/12/2021: >> End of Year Greetings <<

05/10/2021: >> Updates and Going-ons <<

25/06/2021: >> We made it! <<

28/01/2021: >> Update 2021 <<
15/12/2020: >> X-mas Mailout <<

21/07/2020: >> Wish... and Waiting List <<

06/07/2020: >> Marking a Milestone <<

24/06/2020: >> Facebook Watch Party <<

11/06/2020: >> Admissions 2020 <<

07/04/2020: >> Admissions <<

23/03/2020: >> Info-Night <<

06/03/2020: >> Upcoming Events <<

25/02/2020: >> Reminder Info-Meeting <<

11/02/2020: >>! <<

14/12/2019: >> Summary Info Night <<

27/11/2019: >> Tweet Tweet <<

20/11/2019: >> Info Night <<