What is East Kent Sudbury School?

EKSS opened in January 2019 as a part-time democratic community for Home Educated children. It it our ambition to become the UK’s first self-directed, democratic Independent School based on the Sudbury model. To find out more about our philosophy and how Self-Directed Education works see Our Model section.

Project phases

We have a two stage strategy for achieving our goal:

Phase 1

Part-time democratic learning community for Home Educated children, open Tuesday-Thursday, 9.30-3.00, with a maximum attendance of between 4.5 and 5.5 hours per day.

Phase 1 opened in January 2019 in Cliftonville Community Centre, Margate, before moving to our own site in September 2020.

Phase 2
After achieving our Independent School status, we will become a full-time school operating 5 days per week, open 9.00-5.00 with a minimum attendance of 5 hours per day per student required.



With a community of students ready and waiting for us to open and one hurdle after another in securing the perfect long term home we refocused our search on spaces that will enable us to get open and start growing our community. The answer came in the form of a self-contained space within Cliftonville Community Centre which had all the facilities we need to start whilst we continued the search for a long term site.

We were delighted when finally in the summer of 2020 we found the perfect long term home for EKSS, in a nearby town in East Kent and were able to move in time for reopening in September. Check back soon for more details about this exciting next chapter.

Age range

Our provision caters for children aged 5-18 years and is a completely age mixed environment.  Read more about why that is so important to us here.

Staff and student numbers

We are delighted that our new site has increased our ability to cater for many more students. We are currently limiting intake during the COVID-19 pandemic to 30 in order to maintain small groups of no more than 15 students, but will be adding further places as guidance allows.

We currently have 6 staff members, with a minimum of 4 each day.  Find out more about our staff team here.


As an Independent organisation we funded solely through fees and donations. The fee for our part-time home education provision is £7,000 per annum, with discounts for siblings. We also offer means tested financial assistance to ensure that economic circumstances are not a barrier to enrolment, for more details please see our fees page.

Global movement

EKSS is part of a global movement of Self-Directed and Democratic education. You can find a list of similar settings worldwide here: Democratic Schools Directory