What is East Kent Sudbury?

East Kent Sudbury opened in January 2019 as a part-time democratic community for Home Educated children inspired by model created by Sudbury Valley School . To find out more about our philosophy and how Self-Directed Education works see Our Model section.

Who our setting is for

Our part-time democratic learning community is for Electively Home Educated children. Our Out-of-school setting supports parents by supplementing the learning taking place at home and elsewhere. Whilst much learning takes place at EK Sudbury, the responsibility for providing a full-time education remains with the parents.

We open Tuesday-Thursday, 9.30-3.00, with a maximum attendance of 5.5 hours per day or 16.5 hours per week.


We have moved! We are now located in the gorgeous Buckland House on Crabble Hill on the outskirts of Dover. We have a variety of rooms with specialist areas for art, IT, music as well as general social and community spaces and our own outside playground and parking area.

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. During the COVID-19 restrictions of this year we limited enrolment to protect our small community bubble. With easing restrictions we will have up to 45 places available from September 2021.

We currently have 9 staff members, with a minimum of 4 each day.  Find out more about our staff team here.


As an Independent organisation we’re funded solely through fees and donations. The fee for our part-time home education provision is £7,200 per annum, with discounts for siblings. We also offer equitable financial assistance to ensure that economic circumstances are not a barrier to enrolment, for more details please see our fees page.

Future plans

It has always been our ambition to eventually attain Independent School Status making East Kent Sudbury the UK’s first Self-Directed Democratic school inspired by Sudbury Valley School. We are now in the final stages of preparing our school application and if successful aim to move to full-time hours before the end of the 2021-22 academic year.

Developing our model to meet the Independent School Standards whilst also maintaining our core values has been incredibly challenging. The Curriculum Policy we have developed puts the learner in the driving seat of their own educational journey with the community forming a system of support around them. Activities and lessons are planned in collaboration with students with both learner and facilitator taking responsibility for planning and outcomes. A core principle in our approach to learning is that the most efficient, long-lasting and meaningful learning comes when the learner is intrinsically motivated. In order to preserve this intrinsic desire for knowledge and development it is vital students are not compelled or coerced to learn. As such we have a strict non-compulsion policy towards learning with students only required to cover criteria mandated by law such as relationships and sexual education.

Self-Directed Democratic Education remains a radical option in the UK, despite huge growth globally, we are under no illusions that obtaining school status without compromising our vision is highly ambitious. If our first application is unsuccessful we will work with the feedback gained from the application process to refine our proposition and reapply.

More details of our plans to become an independent school will be announced soon. Sign up to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook to be the first to hear more.


Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm, minimum expected attendance of 5 hours per day


Full-time fees will be £9,700 per annum with reductions available on the same equitable fee scale.

Global movement

East Kent Sudbury 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