The Most Laid Back School in The World


You’re about to meet the most laid back school in the United States. Meet Sudbury Valley School – the school that allows you to do anything you want.

The school itself was founded in 1968 in Framingham, Massachusetts. The school is firmly based on the Sudbury model utilised throughout the United States, Denmark, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

The model firmly runs of the system off;
– Educational Freedom
– Democratic Governance
– Personal Responsibility

At the school it’s the students that decide whether or not to attend classes or behave in an appropriate manner. They learn better this way as they’re learning through their ordinary experience rather than through classes or the standard curriculum.

Therefore as they don’t need the classrooms the school is basically a home living situation. The owners of the school opt to create a home environment, rather than a school one.

And if you don’t consider this a success, just look to the facts to see you’re wrong.

80% of students that attended Sudbury Valley went on to study their preferred course at college, proving the educational institution was an excellent catalyst to lead them onto a successful career.

Students are very content with this set up and would much rather it than the thoughts of facing a classroom at nine o’clock on a Monday morning.

The View From The Inside

“I didn’t really think about getting an education.  I didn’t understand the idea of having to artificially ‘get’ an education.  I thought that you lived in the world and you got smarter because every day you were learning.  I thought that there was no way to get dumber unless you were erasing stuff out of your brain.   It seemed to me that one day you were talking to someone about one subject and another day you were talking to someone about another, and that eventually you would get around to all of them.”

“People would ask, ‘What classes do you do?’.  And you’d think, ‘classes?  We don’t do classes, you know.  Look around.  There are no classrooms here.’  They’d say, ‘What did you learn today?’  And we’d think, ‘What did we learn today?  What are you talking about?’  Because it wasn’t as if you went into the library and learned your facts for the day.  You had a dozen conversations with people.  We weren’t learning subject by subject.  We were learning in a much more organic manner.  You would be doing a lot of different things and you would learn them in little bits and pieces that would start adding up to much bigger pictures.  You wouldn’t really know where it came from a lot of the time.  By the time you were done learning about something, information was coming from so many different sources, from books and from people you were talking to, and from a long drawn out experience, that you had no idea how you learned it.”

  1. I’d just like to make a couple of clarifying comments regarding several phrases used in your text above.
    “behave in an appropriate manner” is a phrase used above. The “democratic governance” you refer to has established a code of acceptable behavior and a system to enforce it. All members of the community are expected to live by this code or accept the consequences which can include expulsion.
    “The owners of the school” is another phrase used in your text. There are no “owners” as such. The school is a registered not-for-profit legal entity (corporation) operated by “democratic governance.” It is this body that makes decisions about the allocation and design of physical space. classrooms per se have NOT been recognized as a need. But, as appropriate, existing rooms and resources are available for personal and group study.
    Finally, thanks for taking note of the Sudbury Valley School.

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