Our mission is to provide a safe environment where young people can engage in self-directed learning and democracy, where children are free to choose their own learning goals and pursue them at their own pace, while participating in a community of self-governance and justice where each member’s voice is equally valued and heard.

We believe that there are many approaches to learning and that each child can be supported in their chosen path. We are committed to providing an alternative model of education where children have choice about their learning, freedom to go about their business, and time to explore and create without pressure or constraint.  We aim to safeguard an environment where autonomous, self-directed, intrinsically motivated learning can flourish.


We TRUST that children’s innate curiosity leads them to learn what they need to know.

We believe that everyone is entitled to FREEDOM.  At Sligo Sudbury children are free from curricula and timetabled lessons and they have the freedom to explore self-chosen pursuits.

With freedom and rights comes RESPONSIBILITY.  Through the School Meeting, collective decisions are made and each individual can participate in and take ownership of the school community and works toward attending to the needs of the self whilst conscientiously taking care of the needs of the whole.


Competence – Compassion – Contentment

Self knowledge is the strong foundation upon which the necessary abilities, skills, knowledge, attitudes and values can be learned best. All education must begin with, and prioritise, self-awareness.  Freedom, choice, and time to reflect are essential prerequisites to gaining self knowledge.

Inspired by many democratic schools around the world, our school is a place where children mix freely with people of all ages and share the responsibility for running the school.

Profoundly diverse and inclusive, our school models an educational approach that is adaptable and dynamic and can flex to meet individual students’ needs as well as the changing times.

Our students have gone on to a variety of pursuits after leaving school including:  further study through QQI courses, work placements and following passions into other professions and fields.  Having developed self-awareness and skills in self-reflection, our students are well equipped to achieve success and happiness in life.

Along with other schools in the Democratic Education Ireland network we are working to bring about a fundamental paradigm shift in what it means to educate and to be educated.


Maura Duignan

Maura was inspired by the work of John Holt, Peter Gray and others to seek and develop learning environments for children where they have space and freedom to develop with integrity. Maura supports students with interests in English Language and Literature, Italian language, and Critical Thinking Skills. She is a Gaisce Leader and mentors students through the process of preparing their graduation portfolio.

Gayle Nagle

Gayle is an educator deeply inspired by A.S. Neill, Peter Gray, and Naomi Fisher, advocating for student-centred education in Ireland. With a focus on mentoring, Drama and facilitating conflict resolution through the “Just Chat” Committee, she actively supports students in various areas. Gayle holds a number of administrative roles including child protection and site management. Her passion lies in empowering young people to pursue their interests and take charge of their own learning journey.

Ciara Barrett

Ciara mentors and supports the younger students. She enjoys sharing her passions and skills of arts, crafts, cooking, baking, gardening, nature activities, crochet, knitting and playing games. She also sits on the Outreach, Staffing and Upkeep Circles and is a member of the JC Committee.

Isabel Kuroczka

Izzy currently manages the office at school and fulfils many of the administrative tasks that come with running a school and a business. Besides that she engages with our young people daily, helping with problems large and small, supporting them to become autonomous, resilient and effective adults that have the vital skills of effective communication, conflict resolution, self-reflection and critical thinking.

Kim Kennedy

Kim enjoys creating an environment for creative expression and experimentation to flourish through crafts, art, writing, physical movement and language. They are inspired from their interest in community building, life-long learning and interpersonal relationships which drives their commitment to internal conflict resolution process Just Chat Committee, Consent workshops, mentor meetings and being a part of clubs and committees such as art club, and party planning committee.

Conall O Fiannachta

Conall is a qualified Rock Climbing Instructor, Mountain Leader and Level 2 Kayak Coach and has previously qualified as a Swim Teacher, Pool Lifeguard, Snorkelling Instructor and more. He has a Bachelor Degree in Business and Sport, FETAC 6 in Sports Community Development and FETAC 5 in Adventure Leadership Skills. Conall has also worked as a professional painter and decorator, rigger, machinist/toolmaker and loves to fix and make things with his hands. He supports students in a variety of areas at school including climbing and bouldering, football and fitness, woodwork, leadership and team-building skills, and school maintenance.

Camille Secher

Camille studied science and obtained a PhD in biological soil remediation in France. She taught in university. When she had her first child, she passed her elementary teaching exam. She offers tutoring in scientific subjects (maths, biology, chemistry) and does activities with the youngest children (cooking, craft activities, board games).

Krzysiek Dąbek

Originally from Poland, Krzysiek has a lifelong passion for making and learning. Since moving to Ireland, he has embraced multiple creative roles and enhanced his love for the outdoors by becoming a Forest School Leader in Leitrim and Sligo. Krzysiek is deeply invested in fostering children’s innate curiosity and creativity, reflecting on the diverse ways children learn. In the school he helps students with diy projects, wood work, drawing, stop motion, and music recording.

Troy Devaney

Troy’s background is in engineering and he worked in the aviation industry for many years. His main passion has always been guitar and music and he spent his free time training as a classical guitarist, achieving his music grades with Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). Troy’s interest in the creative arts recently extended to amateur dramatics and in 2019 he picked up an acting award on the RTE’s All Ireland Drama Circuit in Athlone. Troy teaches guitar, facilitates drama club, and supports students with engineering projects.

Marko Hrvatin

Marko has extensive experience working with all age groups as a PE teacher and he is also a self-taught musician. His interests include singing, playing music, Olympic Handball, Basketball, Volleyball, skateboarding, gymnastics, wrestling, grappling, parkour and butoh.

Jennifer Shannon

Jenny is a qualified primary school teacher with a Master’s in Inquiry-based learning. Her interests include the outdoors, yoga, climbing and technology. She runs a coding club in school where she facilities coding and digital literacy skills. Jenny produces our school podcast, teaches yoga and bouldering, and facilitates classes in English and Irish language skills.


We are always interested in hearing from people who feel they would be interested in joining our Staff team.  Staff members must be fully committed to the philosophy of the Sudbury model of Education and have read extensively on the subject.  Experience in the area of working with young people may be of benefit.  A broad range of life skills and experiences along with skills in specific areas would also be a benefit.  Adult members who are passionate and who espouse the values that underpin this model of education will be a valuable addition to the community.



If you would like to volunteer at our school, please complete the attached form.