We accept applications throughout the year.
Our Admissions Process
Here is our 4-step admissions process:
1. Research our School and the Sudbury approach
2. Come and Share your Questions at a Public Meeting
3. Organise an Interview and a Two-Week Trial Period
4. Finalise the Registration
Check-out the detailed admissions process below
Our Admission Criteria
No strict age limit
Throughout the year, the school accepts admissions for students from 5 to 19 years old. This is not a strict age policy and we examine each application case by case. For reasons explained further on, we find that most children under 5 are unable to meet our criteria. Older students may or may not benefit from our environment depending on their mindset, needs and expectations.
Understanding and Motivation are key
We believe that the vast majority of children can flourish in Sudbury School Paris if they make a wholehearted and informed choice to come here.
During the interviews, the main things we focus on are the student’s motivation and their level of understanding of what we provide.
Respect and Accountability
In some rare cases, it may be that we feel unable to admit a student if over the trial period their behaviour has not proved they could fully respect the school’s rules and atmosphere. This happens mostly with children under 5, who do not always have the maturity to understand our approach.
As the founder of Summerhill, A.S Neill, used to put it: we believe in freedom, not licence. Although it is easy for most to grasp the notion of freedom at our school, it comes at the cost of true accountability and requires strictly adhering to the democratic processes and collective agreements of the community.
Students have responsibilities, such as cleaning duties and regularly being jury members in the Judicial Committee. Most importantly, they are responsible for taking their education in their own hands as well as for initiating the change they want to see in their community.
Last but not least, Sudbury School Paris is a primarily anglophone environment. The School Meeting, the Law Book and many other aspects of community life require a decent level of English (and a strong motivation on the part of those who are not fully fluent).
Prospective members are therefore required to already possess a sufficient level of English to engage in the life of the community. Interviews prior to and following the two-week trial period are conducted in English
Detailed admissions process
As the alternative we offer is so different from any other kind of school you probably know, before initiating any registration process we strongly encourage families – and prospective students in particular – to learn as much as possible about our educational philosophy and the specifics of our approach & organisation. Our website offers many resources to accompany you in this research, including a list of recommended material (videos & articles). And you can find much more information about the Sudbury approach on the web page and blog of Sudbury Valley School and the Internet in general.
As for the more practical aspects, the FAQ section should answer most of your initial questions.
We then encourage you to come to a public meetings – or several. This way, you can meet our staff members, other current students and/or their parents, discover the school environment, and share the questions you will inevitably still have on your mind with other interested families.
We have these roughly every three weeks, so it’s easy to come!
The next step is to set-up an interview (conducted in English). This allows us to verify the applicant’s understanding of our school’s unique approach and motivations for joining before we organise a two-week trial period.
For the applicant, these two weeks are an opportunity to engage with the reality of the school on a day-to-day basis and get the experience they need in order to make an informed choice regarding their integration into the Sudbury School community. For our community, it is also a time to see if the applicant is fully on-board with our philosophy and able to fit in (check our criteria just below).
If the two week trial period is considered a success by both the applicant and the school community the registration process can be finalised.
This will mark the close of the registration process, the student will be considered a full member of the school and the adventure begins !
(NB: If you are considering an enrolment for the next school year, we recommend that your trial period take place during this school year)
For any further questions, feel free to get in touch with us.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you!