DemED Ireland

Our First Democratic Education Conference

Vanessa, Rok and I set off for their first Democratic Education Conference recently, it was an opportunity to meet the 7 other Democratic Schools across Ireland.

The two-day conference was jam packed and it was a great opportunity for everyone to ask questions about setting up a Democratic school; things to consider such as: location, building regulations, insurance, charity regulator and incorporation (to name a few).

Following lunch, we got to listen to the Wicklow students’ take on life in a Democratic school. This was truly the best part – their confidence and eloquence were off the charts. We were all truly taken aback, Ed one of the students had a few us in tears when he spoke about the relationships he had formed.

On Sunday, straight after breakfast we all took part in the ‘the world café’ and discussed how we could form our own association to help raise awareness of democratic education across Ireland. We started to discuss our values, missions and aims and discuss what would be the best way for us all to collaborate going forward.

The weekend ended in a flash and since then we have already met again and, have several more meetings planned for 2020.

Overall, we feel very excited and grateful to be part of this movement, so please watch this space!

Best wishes, Lisa


Our First Public Meeting

Vanessa, Rok and I sat around the table and ran through our presentation, our first public meeting was coming up in 5 days and we were slightly nervous, especially me!

After we finished our presentation dry run, we reviewed our FAQs and we discussed some of the answers which we had also incorporated from listening to Alpine Valley School podcasts and from our friends at Wicklow and Sligo Sudbury.

Our public meeting day finally arrived (Saturday 19th October) and I woke up asking myself why was I doing this again… ha! On a serious note, of course, I knew why we needed an Alternative School in our Community and therefore this needed to happen. Thankfully we had tremendous support with lots of texts and phone calls expressing well wishes and we also had Gayle from Sligo Sudbury School coming too so I kept reminding myself that this was going to go well.

And, I’m glad to report that the meeting went extremely well, we had a great turn out and everyone got involved in the Q&A session at the end. We all enjoyed Gayle’s presentation and the amazing pictures she shared of Sligo Sudbury School; this gave everyone a great insight into what North Dublin’s Democratic School could look like.

Our first public meeting was our first big milestone, and we realised that there was indeed a great interest for a Democratic School in North Dublin, so this gave us huge encouragement to continue with our endeavours.

Since our public meeting, we have welcomed another member Yvonne to our group and we are steadily progressing! Our next public meeting is scheduled for January 2020, the actual date to be confirmed soon. So please watch this space…

Best wishes, Lisa

Ps: we’d like to extend a special thanks Gayle Nagle (Sligo Sudbury School), Darragh O’Brien (Local TD) and, Alan Dunne (Head Librarian in Malahide)