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"Summerhill is possibly the happiest school in the world".

What is your opinion of this statement by A.S. Neill?

1. At what age did you go to Summerhill and how long did you stay there?

2. Had you attended other day or boarding schools before going to Summerhill?

Yes 0 No 0

if YES,

a) which schools (specify boarding or day school)?

b) for how long?

c) did you have any problems there? Yes 0 No 0

If YES, what sort of problems?

3. Why did your parents decide to send you to Summerhill?

4. If you think about when you first started at Summerhill, what were your initial impressions?

a) What did you like?

b) What did you not like?

c) Was there anything which you found particularly difficult?

Yes 0 No 0

If YES, what was the cause of this difficulty?

5. Did you attend lessons while you were at Summerhill?

0 a) Yes, from when I started until when I left the school.

0 b) Yes, on a regular basis initially but more rarely after .........month.

0 c) Yes, but not initially, only after ......... month.

0 d) No, never.

0 e) Other (Please explain if your lesson attendance was different from the options given above).

6. Which subjects were you most interested in? (Please list your THREE favourite subjects.)




7. Did you take GCSE examinations at Summerhill?

Yes 0 No 0

If Yes, in which subjects?

8. What motivated you to take GCSE examinations?

9. How did the form and structure of Lessons at Summerhill differ from lessons in traditional schools?

10. a) What did you particularly like about the form and structure of Lessons at Summerhill?

      b) What did you not like about the form and structure of lessons at Summerhill?

11. Do you think the Summerhill school can set any examples for traditional schools

Yes 0 No 0

If YES, how?

12. Do you think that teachers at Summerhill differ from teachers in traditional schools?

Yes 0 No 0


in what ways do they differ? (please give two differences.)



13. Do you remember the topics discussed at meetings? What were the most common topics of discussion?

14. Where you ever punished by the tribunal for contravening school rules?

0 a) No

0 b) Yes, but rarely.

0 c) Yes, quite often.

15. How often did you go home to visit your parents during a school year?

16. How did you feel about the long separation from your parents?

17. Who was the most important person / Who were the most  important people for you at Summerhill?

0 a) house parents

0 b) fellow students, school friends

0 c) A.S. Neill

0 d) a Teacher, teachers

0 e) other (please give details)

18. What functions did your house parents fulfil?

19. What do you feel was the pleasantest aspect of your relationship with your house parents?

20. How many different sets of house parents did you have?

21. What were your favourite activities during your leisure time?

22. Were there situations where you felt that too much was being demanded of you?

Yes 0 No 0

If YES, please outline important examples of such situations.

23. Were there also situations where you felt that you were not  being challenged enough?

Yes 0 No 0

If YES, please outline important examples of such situations.

24. Looking back, what was particularly important for you at Summerhill?
      (Please number the following points in order of importance - 1 = most important)

0 - No pressure to attend lessons.

0 - Being able to freely fulfil the childhood desire to play.

0 - Living away from parents.

0 - Healthy attitude towards sex and relationships with the opposite sex.

0 - Being with other children.

0 - Self-government

0 - A feeling of partnership in relations with teachers and house parents.

0 - Other. (Please give details)

25. Do you think that Summerhill was a decisive factor in the development of your personality?

Yes 0 No 0

If YES, in which way?

26. a) What do you feel that you benefitted from your time at Summerhill?

      b) Do you feel that you were somehow disadvantaged by your time at Summerhill?

Yes 0 No 0

If YES, how?

27. Did you have adjustment problems after leaving Summerhill?
Yes 0 No 0

If YES, what sort of problems:

a) in private life?

b) in working life

28. Would you send your children to Summerhill?

Yes 0 No 0

Please could you give reasons for your decision.

29. Looking back, would you describe yourself as:

0 a) quite an unproblematic child


0 b) a rather difficult child?

Please give your reasons.

30. Personality theories differentiate between introverted and extroverted people. Do your regard yourself as:

0 a) an introvert


0 b) an extrovert?

31. What have you done since leaving Summerhill? Please briefly outline your academic and professional

Finally, some personal details would be appreciated in order to a aid statistical analysis.

32. Sex: Male 0 Female 0

33. Age: .....

34. Nationality: ...........

35. Marital Status:

0 Single
0 Married

0 Divorced

0 Widow/er

0 Living with a partner but not married

36. Current Occupation:

37. Number of children:

38. Have any of your children attended / Are any of your children attending Summerhill?

Yes 0 No 0
39. Did your parents go to Summerhill?
Yes 0 No 0
If YES, for how long?

40. Parent`s Occupation:



41. Is there a particular quality of characteristic which in your opinion typifies the Summerhill personality?

Thank your for your time and assistance in completing this questionnaire. It is, of course, not necessary to fill in your name and address but these details would be very much appreciated.