About Us


From parents:

“To not have to divert energy to the humdrum nature of conventional schooling and all that comes with that, has had a huge knock on effect for our whole household.”

“Wicklow Democratic is a creative learning school. It respects the opinions of all students and facilitators equally. Most importantly, the kids are heard and respected as equals.”

“[My daughter] has blossomed very quickly from a very anxious student to a happy and bright young teenager.”
“I recall my fear of trusting that the Democratic school method would work, and have learned through my son what actually being self-directed means. We have all learned from him.”

From students:

“There is no divide or hierarchy between the adults/staff and students, and even between the younger and older students. In [Wicklow Democratic School] we’re all a big family, we

understand each other and listen to each other’s needs. We get that we’re all human. In mainstream school, there was no community even if the teachers said there was. I knew hardly anyone and I was too afraid of the teachers, or they had no interest in the students. And even between students, it’s looked down upon to socialise with people from a different year to you. You were seen as weird. Anyone one year younger than you might as well have been a newborn.”

“I love that I get to choose what I want to do. That I get all the say I want in being able to explore my interests and trying out new things. I also get the opportunity to make time for the things I really want to focus on.”

“I like the fact that I don’t have to do subjects that I don’t want to do, and that I can also choose to do subjects/activities that wouldn’t be on the mainstream school curriculum”

“I like to play music, work on art, go on walks with my friends, and take part in the activities that go on for most of the day. To me that means a huge amount, not only to develop my own interests and find things that are important to me, but to do it in a safe and loving community.”

“I spend my time playing music, writing, making art, reading, learning Japanese, doing club activities like bushcraft and of course, who could forget, drinking tea. Being able to do all of these things means all of the world to me, these are all things I love and enjoy and it’s great getting to surround myself with all of my passions.”

“I like to spend my time doing art, playing music and socialising with friends and staff. It means so much that I have the freedom to have control over the things that I want to pursue in school.”

“I love being able to get the chance to learn how to run all the different clerkships, which are full of extremely valuable skills to acquire. Being in charge of different domains in the school can be really fun and empowering, we really get to choose what happens and if we don’t like something we can change that. We have the power to totally reform the school if we really wished! As well as being able to propose we get to go on a school trip to climb a mountain on Thursday and get fluffy socks for all the students when it gets cold.”

“I love the freedom that we have. If you don’t like something or if you want to get something that will improve your experience you can change that and it’s great.”

“I have friendships with people both older and younger than me that I otherwise wouldn’t know if the age restrictions of traditional school were in place. these friendships are very important to me as there is so much to learn from those around me of all ages”

“[Age mixing] really opens your eyes to how life isn’t just the people born in the year 2001/2002. It’s amazing to see how I have friends who are maybe even 5 or 6 years younger than me and it’s not weird. Kids are just as smart and fun as the teens and just as smart and fun as the adults too. I get the chance to experience life beyond the confined restrictions of people solely born in the same year as you. Even being friends with the staff as well, who in traditional school you would never even consider to be human! I get to learn so much from everyone, from the cheeky 8 year old to the 14 year old to the 56 year old!”

“In mainstream education, ages are very segregated and that frustrated me as I always got along better with older students, I think that it prepares students for real life in that we’re always surrounded by people of different ages and we learn a lot from each other.”

“I have some of the best and funniest experiences with the staff. I get so much laughs and support from them and a lot of wisdom too. There’s a lot of things I get to bond with them over, they’re just like students really just with more legal responsibilities!”

“The staff not only encourage students to flourish but they are also constantly there for both emotional and work related support, they treat us as equals.”