LUCY STEPHENS & TOM OBERST
Reflections on two years of running a non-fee-paying democratic school
Setting up a brand new non-fee-paying democratic school… Without statutory funding… With a collaborative decision-making structure and a team who had never met each other… In the middle of a pandemic… With one year to get through OFSTED… is possibly the definition of madness. Nearly two years down the line we’ll give you a little insight into our journey; the highs, lows and grey hairs. The bits we got right, the bits we didn’t, and the endless questions that we’re still figuring out.
Lucy is the Founder and Director of The New School, a non-fee-paying democratic school in Upper Norwood, South London. Lucy has spent a number of years researching what a school model of education could look like when it is structured in a way that values relationships, equity and inclusion. Tom is a Class 3 (ages 9-12) teacher at The New School. After working outside of education for a year he joined the team setting up The New School and has been there since it opened its doors in September 2020.