Event Details

Information about speakers and a detailed timetable will be added as the planning progresses.

The Summerhill Festival of Childhood is a family friendly festival for all those interested in alternatives to conventional education and the importance of childhood and children’s rights. It is a historic event for children and those that once were children, for the curious, for the playful and all those interested in sharing and learning about freedom in education.


5-10th August 2022.  


Peakhill Farm, Theberton, Leiston, Suffolk IP16 4TG

This picturesque spot, which hosts a wonderful musical festival each year, is just two miles from Summerhill School.

Peakhill Farm can host up to 5000 people. We’re expecting between 1000 – 3000 so there will be plenty of space – 25 acres (plus a 10 acre car park) at our disposal. Children and adults alike will be able to enjoy this beautiful, countryside campsite, and you’ll be able to decorate your pitches creatively too.

Google Maps

Official website of Peakhill Farm

Photo Gallery


Come and celebrate childhood with us, this wonderful and significant period of time for all of us and the future of humanity. You can enjoy the festival at your own pace.

You could start your day with a cuppa and a morning chat or go to a yoga or tai chi session or even have a lie-in. Then you could attend a workshop or join an art, construction or drama project, try your hand at circus skills, a music activity, or just relax and wonder with plenty of space to roam.

You could even run your own project or collaborate with others. There will be opportunities to enjoy local food and meet people from all over the world.

Each day will offer talks and workshops from inspiring people about forward-thinking, child-centred, innovative approaches to education and childrearing for the 21st century.

You’ll be able to visit the festival contributors’ tents and stands to find out more about their work, alternatives to conventional education and progressive approaches towards childhood as a whole.

You can also visit Summerhill School itself, speak to staff and students, have a tour and enjoy art displays within this historical and unique setting.

If you want to continue the celebrations into the night, there will be music and performances of all kinds, or you can unwind and share stories from the day around a campfire.

Keynote Speakers

We anticipate internationally renowned speakers to join us. The list will be updated as speakers are confirmed.

IDEC / EUDEC / APDEC / Freedom To Learn

Conferences 2020

IDEC (International Democratic Education Conference), EUDEC (European Democratic Education Conference), APDEC (Asia Pacific Democratic Education Conference) and the Freedom to Learn conference will all take place at the festival. These are all annual conferences that have decided to join the festival to honour Summerhill’s Centenary.

Early Bird Tickets will be available on 11th of December 2020