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Summerhill laws 2011



Autumn term 2011

Latest printing 13th September  2011


Notes about Freedom and Licence

 In Summerhill “freedom”means individual freedom. This means that you can do what you like, so long as it does not interfere with the freedom of somebody else. So, you can wear no clothes if you want to, dye your hair bright pink, and never attend any classes at all, because that is your own business –but you cannot play your music at 3:00 am, pee on the lounge floor, or skateboard in the corridor because it affects other people.

 The Summerhill laws generally define this difference between freedom and licence, though some are there to protect particular people or things.

 Just because there is not a law against it –does not necessarily mean that you can do it!

 And if there is a law that you don’t think is good –bring it up in the Meeting!


Only Shack Kids can use Shack showers between 8:00 – 9:30

No one can have a hot bath in the House between 9:30 –14:00 and 16:30 –18:45 –water is needed for washing up. You can have cold baths

Only Carriages can use Carriages’ showers between 8:00 –9:30.After swimming no one but Carriages can use Carriages’ showers for half-an-hour

Only people who live in the stable area can use the stables bathroom

You can’t queue-butt the shampoo queue in the Carriage shower

You can’t go in or out of the Girl’s Carriage showers if you are dripping wet

You can’t shower with the door open


First Night of term

Shack and Carriages – no bedtime

House – 1 hour after the second bus

San and Cottage – when the second bus comes at the latest or at BOs discretion




Bedtime 20:45 – 21:15

Weekends 21:15 – 21:45


Bedtime 21:15 – 21:45

Weekends 21:45 – 22:15



Bedtime 22:00 – 22:30

Weekends 22:30 – 23:00


Bedtime 22:30 –23:00

Bedtime Friday 23:00 – 23:30

Saturday 23:30 –midnight



No bedtime

Beddies Officers

BOs can get either reserves or other BOs to cover for them but reserves who have not done it before must have an experienced BO with them.

BOs can only Q butt if they have done their job properly.

BOs have to tell you by the next day if you were fined. They have the whole day to tell the Fines Officers and the person they fined.

BOs can sleep in the day after they work until 09.30.  If they sleep in at other times it gets dropped.

BOs get standard fine of half-Poc if they wake people in extreme ways

Ruby, India and Surya are Super BOs

Super BOs must put “early Bedtimes”fines people to bed

BOs have to close all windows at bedtime (in public areas)

Trainee BOs can only train once a week

Trainee BOs must go to bed after shack lights out


Nobody can watch screens during and after Bedtime (Except House as part of House bedtime)

You must change into night clothes before you go to bed.

You have to be in your area at bedtimes.

Boys’ Shack can keep their room light on after lights out (People who want to turn the light off have more priority).

People who proposed to sleep in have to re-propose it next term if they still want to.

No one except BOs, House kids, and Andresa is allowed in the House at bedtime.

Housekids can’t drink cokes during and after bedtime.

Maths room is part of the Carriage area (re: bedtimes)

You can only sleep in someone else’s room, in your area, twice a week. Beddies Officers have to run it by the houseparent. You have to propose it in other areas.

If you are left alone in your room over the weekend you can sleep in someone else’s room

No one is allowed in an area while their bedtime is on

Only one person at a time can seep in other rooms

House kids can’t be outside their rooms for 30 minute after lights out


You can’t go back to bed before 12:00

You have to have curtains open by 8:30

Carriage doors must be open and unlocked by 8:30

Wake-up time is 8:00 –you must be up 8:30

Can’t use vuvuzelas at wake-up

Beddies Officers waking people in extreme ways –fined same as for breaking Silence Hour


People have to lock up the bike shed every time they open it

House and under have to be with carriage kid or staff to go outside Leiston

Shack and over have to tell houseparent if they go outside Leiston

Shack & over have to take a mobile with houseparent’s number if they go alone

You have to pass your bike test before you can cycle down-town.

A staff can take people on bike rides without the bike test

Can’t go down-town on bike if dark and bike has no lights (UK Law)

A 13 year old can bike downtown alone after passing the bike test. A 12 year old who has passed the test can go with a 13 year or above or a staff.

You can’t ride San kids bikes, even with permission

Bike rides can use San kid’s bikes (with permission)

Can’t leave bikes in hallway of the bike shed


5 people on the Bottle House Committee

Only shack and over can run for bottle house committee

You have to propose to open it and use the sign-out sheet

Only Shack & over can open it

House & under can’t be alone in bottle house


You have to propose if you can open and cook in the Cafe

CaféCommittee don’t have to propose that they can cook or open the Café

You can’t use the projector in the Cafe without Tobe’s permission

You can only take things from the Caféif you bring it straight back

When the Caféis short of small things, like oil, CaféCommittee can go directly to fines and not go through the meeting

You have to empty the bin before you sign out

CaféCommittee have to put keys in the staff-room at EOT


You have to ask the BOs if you want to sleep out in a tent and tell your Houseparent

House and under can’t sleep out with their own bedding –must use alternatives such as sleeping bags

If you don’t tell BOs and house parents that you are sleeping in a tent –20% fined


No one can stay in the Carriage kitchen without a Carriage kid

Can’t go in the Carriage kitchen after silence hour unless you propose it –even only going to the fridge!

Can’t use Carriage kitchen TV until silence hour ends in the morning.

Carriage kitchen chair can’t be taken outside.

Carriage Kitchen group – If you don’t turn up to kitchen meetings you are chucked off. You renew your membership by coming to meetings.

Carriage Kitchen can be closed and re-opened by Health and Safety.

No one except Carriage Kitchen users are allowed to use the Carriage Kitchen fridge.

Everybody in Shack and Carriages have to have their own responsibility to oil their doors.

Can’t keep football dirty clothes and shoes in the bathrooms.


You have to be Shack and over to run for Health & Safety committee

New kids can’t vote for the first half of term and can’t run for committees until their second term

You can’t take the book around and run for a committee at the same time

Investigation Committee can get help from anybody they need to, but everybody on the committee has to agree with it

Half term committee needs to bring it up if they want to close the lounge early

You can queue butt when you take the book around

People doing peg office don’t have to be work fines supervisor

There is a screen policing committee of three people to stop people breaking the screening laws



You can’t use any screens for games including facebook games, movies and YouTube etc or hang out on computers or use social networks until 15:30.  You can use computers or films for research purposes before that time.

You can only watch inappropriate material in private (this includes porn, un-rated films and extreme violence)


You can’t expose people to inappropriate stuff without consent (e.g. no flashing pictures of inappropriate stuff)

You have to be 14 or over to watch inappropriate stuff (this includes, porn, un-rated films and extreme violence)

Being in a room where somebody is watching inappropriate stuff or rated films counts as watching it

Video games are included with rated films

10 years and over can watch a 15 film or video game

16 rated games count as 15 films

12 years and over can watch an 18 film or video game

Under 10s can watch a 12 film or video game

You can’t watch 18s in Little Kids Sitting Room

In LKSR or their own bedroom, under age kids have priority over films (you have to switch them off if the person wants to stay in there)

You can’t mention Summerhill or your personal information on teen chats

No on else is allowed to use anyone else’s online accounts

£5:00 SF for messing around with Facebook


No swearing downtown

On weekdays you can only go downtown from 5:00 – 9:30 and after 12:00

A 15 year old can take 9 years and under downtown

A 10 and 11 year old or above can go downtown together

You have to be 13 to go downtown alone

You have to tell your Houseparent where you are going and for how long –if you will be anywhere other than at the shops

You have to propose it if you want to go to a day kid’s house

If you will be out for more than 2 hours you have to tell an adult

To go to Ipswich or other East Anglian big towns (Norwich, Lowestoft, etc) you need to be 14 and over and cannot go alone

Carriage Kids are allowed to go downtown on their own until 20:00 all week (except on Fridays and Saturdays)

Shack & over can go DT with skateboards and blades, under have to propose it

        Winter downtown laws apply after the clocks go back:

                                After 17:30 no one can be downtown alone

                                House and under back by –17:30

                                Shack back by –21:00

                                Shack with Carriage Kids back by –22:00

                                Carriages back by –22:00

        Summer downtown laws apply when the clocks go forward:

                                After 18:30 no one can be downtown alone

                                House and under back by – 18:30

                                Shack back by –22:00

                                Carriages back by –23:00



A Clean-up princes is elected for EOT to clear up after the party.  They tell the next term meeting who helped and gets paid.  Must be carriage or staff

Picture committee can queue-butt free bar

Bar can’t borrow from people, only from the office

People can’t play around the car park and the front of house during parties

Parents and relatives can’t be in the Lounge for Auld Lang Syne at EOT unless they are Old Summerhillians

You can’t pole dance anymore

San kids bedtime is 12:pm on half term party nights

Summer Half Term

If you camp with parents you have to go to bed when they do –unless you are at the party, then you have to go as soon as you get back to the tent

No one can be on the camping field after 10:30 unless they are sleeping in a tent

You have to tell the BOs where you are sleeping

Saturday night Silence Hour is 11:pm (around the school, not in the lounge)



Standard fines are in a section at the end of the book


        Bedtime fines:

A whole room can be given late night fine

                                Work fine

                                24-hour screen ban –starting 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 the next morning

                                ½day screen ban

                                Pudding fine

                                Early morning walk fine

                                Carriages can get fined a bedtime

                                At EOT you can get fined party ban, back of free bar queue, free bar, and swimming session.

                                10% of Poc

                                Lunch plate cleaner (12:30 – 13:00)

Work fines from BOs only count if the Fines Officer and the person who was fined are told the next day (BOs have all day to do this this)

„Tea biscuit’s fine” means you can’t get anyone else’s biscuits either

If people don’t come to Poc to pay fines, they get back of Poc queue for next week

People on the Bullies List

Cannot go to any social event (Gram, TV, Cinema, etc)

Cannot talk or vote in the Meetings

Cannot go downtown

Cannot use screens (video, computer, console etc)

Must go to the back of all queues


The fire door at the end of the top corridor can only be opened during a fire or fire practice.

Fire escapes are out of bounds unless for special training days.


You can only book the table tennis table for half an hour.

You can tell people to shut up when you are playing table tennis.

Games on the Hockey field can only be booked for one hour a day and must be written on the whiteboard

Can’t play football from the back door to the end of the Boys Carriages.

Can’t play football at the Girls’Shack

Can’t play football against wooden walls.

You can’t play football on the Hockey-field when it is muddy

No ball games by the back door

If a window is broken in a ball game, everybody playing pays for it


3 San kids

2 Cottage +1 San

2 House kids

I Shack & over

You can’t jump off anything onto the trampoline

You cannot put wheels or anything with sharp end on the trampoline

You have to put bikes at least 2 meters away from the trampoline

You’re not allowed to sit on the green part of the trampoline – it counts as the part of the trampoline

If somebody’s waiting for the trampoline, the person on it has to get off in five minutes

Trampoline age laws don’t apply if you are not bouncing

Trampoline has to be 5 metres from the Spider’s Web

You can’t move the trampoline without Will

Trampoline laws only count if you are bouncing (not if you are only sitting on it)


Only Carriage & Staff can use the scythe

Tools must be brought back to the garden shed before dark

Person borrowing tools must pay for them if lost –even if they lent them to somebody else


You can go away for the weekend three times each term

When going away, you have to go to the sec on Friday and tell the sec. If your case is not an exception, the Chair will read out the list as a Going Away announcement. If your case is an exception, the chair will take it as a Going Away case at the end of the meeting. Staff are included    

If you sleep out of the school with parents (at home or B&B) at parent weekends, it counts as a weekend away

You must sign the book before going away for a weekend and you have to fill in the Going Away form the day before you go

You have to propose it before you buy tickets and make arrangements

You can’t call a special meeting for going away


Gram can play very quietly while people are doing stuff in the lounge but other things take priority (such as Table Tennis)

Gram is Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturday’s


You can go Trick or Treating at 18:00 and come back at 20:00

Carriage and Shack have to take little kids and not go on their own

You have to be dressed up to go Trick or Treating unless you’re supervising



House Kids have to take down their washing baskets the night before their washing day and bring washing up before bedtime

If House Kids don’t bring their washing baskets down to the Beeston the night before their washing day, they get 50p fine. (standard fine)


The whiteboard by the kitchen is for important notices, the other one for everyday messages

No wheels allowed inside buildings

No playing with water inside buildings

You have to check with Pat before moving furniture that isn’t yours

You can’t have any sticks, cardboard tubes or large weapons inside (guns and knives are alright)

In the Little Kids Sitting Room, lower batteries take priority over higher batteries

TVs take priority over laptops in the Little Kids Sitting Room

No one can use room 3 in the Girls’Shack while it is empty

You’re not allowed to use the plugs in the Cottage fire escape room


Not allowed to hang round the hatch

No getting on dining room tables

No sticks in queues

You can eat outside but must bring the cutlery and crockery back

The newspaper stays in the dining room until the end of the day but can be taken out for photocopying –the end of the day is next morning

You can only queue up from 12:15 from the hatch to the door at Christmas lunch

People can’t play ball games around the kitchen

No one is allowed to use their laptops in the dining room during meal times

No drinking from the jug in the dining room

You have to have your name on your mug if you hang it in the dining room so no one can use it

Standard fine 50p for drinking from bowl, someone else’s mug or jug



Can’t play computer or electronic games

People reading have priority and can kick people out

No eating or drinking in library



You can’t leave CDs, DVDs, etc in the Little Kids Sitting Room –only stuff charging can be left in there

If a Little Kids Sitting room committee person loses their key they can’t get one until next term

No eating or drinking in LKS



The Chairman has ultimate power

All the laws can’t be dropped without 24 hours notice and it goes first on the agenda

On visitor’s day meetings must have an experienced chair

The standard fine for not leaving the meeting when you are asked to : £2

You cannot appeal the fine you got in the same meeting

Secretary must be in the Lounge before the Meeting so that it can start on time

Only experienced chairs can do the Friday Meeting

Tribunal & Meeting cases are separate, Meetings cases are first

New kids & San kids cases go first, even before the Meeting cases

When you are secretary for 2 Meetings you can queue butt Poc

You can’t get cases or announcements during the Meeting.  Only before it starts

50p Standard fine for harassing people about their proposals

You can’t sit on the stairs past the first landing in the Meeting

The standard fine for damaging the lawbook is half poc

You can have drinks in the Meeting

People need to be told that they are being brought up on the day of the meeting and the standard fine for not coming to a meeting is 10% of your poc


People going away and wanting POC early have to find the ½or EOT bar committee as well as the Fines Officer for clearance

If you have money stolen more than £5 that was not kept on your Houseparent, the Meeting won’t refund it

House and under should not have more than £5 on them, it should be kept with the houseparent

You have to pay money fines at POC

You can go in front of POC queues if you take books around

Whatever happens, POC ends at 14:30.


No one is allowed to have anything electrical in the music room or be there unless you’re doing something musical


You must be over twelve and have been here two years to be an Ombudsman

Ombudsmen can ban or chuck anyone out of anywhere or confiscate things until the Meeting

There are no Ombudsman reserves


No spitting on tarmac

No throwing knives at trees

You can’t graffiti on the ground with anything but chalk

Nobody’s allowed to socialise in the area from the back door to Tobe’s caravan

There’s a silence hour in the area from the back door to Tobe’s caravan

You can skate outside the back door out of lesson time, but must stop if asked

People can’t move benches around without the Meeting’s permission


You have to have your name on your peg so it is easy to read

You have to put your peg in the proper place on the board before you leave the school and put it back when you return


Cardboard boxes must be flattened in recycling area –Standard fine of 50p if  you don’t flatten them


Carriage rooms cannot be locked with keys at night for fire safety reasons

If you go downtown when you sneak out you can get sent home for a week

You have to have your parent’s permission to stay overnight at somebody’s house

You can’t go to local kid’s houses unless you have been invited by an adult and they have contacted the school

Fire, fire doors, fire escapes and fire safety equipment

You are not allowed to mess about with fire safety equipment, including fire doors

Only Shack and over are allowed matches & lighters

Not allowed to leave josh sticks or candles alight when leaving the room, they are only allowed in glass containers

No josh sticks allowed in the House

You can’t light fires in the Woods by Geaters

No fires allowed behind Shack & Carriages

Only Shack and up can have fires outside

Fire escapes are out of bounds unless during a fire practice or fire

No fireworks allowed (UK law)

Not allowed on any roof –except Carriage Kids to get things off flat roofs – £5.00 fine  

Laser lights are banned

You can’t hang on the back of cars or lorries with a skateboard or blades

BB guns are banned

You get sent home for four weeks if you drink or smoke dope

You can’t jump on the spider web

Big Beech

You can’t climb the Big Beech when it’s dark or wet

San kids can’t climb Big Beech

         Knives, blades, machetes

Only House and up can have penknives

No sheath knives or large penknives downtown (UK law)

Only Shack or over and can have a machete. They can only use it in the woods and are not allowed to carry it around

Any blade over 6 inches classed as a machete

Can only use throwing knives in Hockey or Horse fields

        Bows and Arrows

Crossbows and arrows are allowed only on the Hockey field and if no one is around

Bows & Arrows have to be kept in your room while not using on Hockey Field

Not allowed to point or shoot at people with bows


San Kids need to ask an Ombudsman before they can swap, lend, buy or sell anything

San Kids get priority on San swings

Sandpit toys have to stay in the sandpit

Cottage kids have to go to an Ombudsman to lend or borrow over £3.00

No ball games between the San and San swings


The silence hour starts at bedtime in the House

                                Saturday and Sunday – Until 10:30


        Carriage Area

                                Weekdays – Shack lights out – until 8:00

                                Weekends – Shack lights out – until 12:00

        Silence hour across the Shack / Carriage area is 12:00 but people can be in the Carriage Path if they are quiet



You can’t go on the half pipe when it’s wet

If people annoy people who are skating on the half-pipe, they can tell them to go away

Skaters are not allowed to move or use the wooden benches for skating on them



You can’t sell cigarettes

Only Shack and over can smoke

No smoking inside

If someone smokes in your room you get fined too

Only Carriage kids can smoke downtown

You can’t smoke around House or younger

No flashing cigarettes

You can only smoke in the smoker’s area

Smokers have to announce they are smokers in the Meeting

Everyone house & over have to go the smokers’DVD and talk once a term


No running around the pool

You can’t throw things (except pool toys) into the pool, including during the winter

When the whistle blows everyone has to leave the water immediately

No jumping or diving in beyond the filter

After diving in you can’t swim back to ladder underwater

No pushing or throwing people in

You can’t stand or walk on the pool dividing wall

San kids can jump in the shallow end

No dunking and holding people under

A short blast on the whistle, everyone has to look to the whistle

Trained Pool Ombudsmen (Carriage kids) can open the pool with a staff

1 staff and a Pool Ombudsman can take up to 20 (maximum) kids

For safety reasons a staff can have less than the maximum number of kids usually allowed in the pool

You are not allowed in the pool in anything other than swim-wear which is only used for swimming

You can only throw money into the pool for events

You are not allowed to leave anything around the pool when you close it

A staff with under 10 people in the pool can act as Ombudsman if they are the only person opening it

You can only use swim-wear that is only used for swimming


        Limited Swimming Sessions

        Limited swimming sessions can only be for half an hour and must be written up on the board


Ex-Summerhillians have to have it proposed if they are visiting for more than a day. At EOT they can come on Friday afternoon and must go by Sunday evening without proposing it

Parents can only take other kids swimming in a public pool with a qualified life-guard

Parents can’t go into any areas during their silence hour

Parents can go into their kids’ rooms if they need to do something in particular but not just to socialise (Carriage rooms are excluded)

You can’t go downtown with visitors

Visitors can only photograph or video if they ask people first

Visitors can’t climb or swing off the Big Beech

Visitors must leave the premises at 16:00

No visitors during first or last weeks of term

When visitors are coming it gets announced in the Meeting

Staff have to propose they can have a visitor to stay

If there are visitors coming, the Visitors Committee have to write it on the board or announce it in the meeting

Visitors cannot use the Library toilet



Smoking – £5.00

Standard fine for harassing naked swimmers –5 swimming sessions banned

Anyone who harasses someone else about their body gets one day swimming-pool ban

Leaving your room in a mess at EOT –Poc

Stealing berries from Geaters –half Poc

Graffiting other people’s names to harrass someone – £2.00

Messing with pegs –Poc

Wiping stuff off whiteboards – £5:00

If you don’t sign the book before going away for a weekend –Three days gated

Not allowed on any roof –except Carriage Kids to get things off flat roofs – £5.00 fine

Breaking silence hour –½POC

Drinking alcohol –sent home for four weeks

Smoking dope –sent home for four weeks

Staff being drunk – £5.00

Going on fire escapes or mucking about with fire equipment – half Poc.

Standard fine for disturbing lessons is 50p, and it can be given by both Ombudsmen and the Meeting

If Tess is brought up for selling/giving cigarettes to under Shack – £30:00 fine

If you don’t flatten cardboard boxes when recycling –50p

Spitting on tarmac –50p

Not telling BO or house parent that you are sleeping in a tent –20%

£5:00 SF for messing around with Facebook


Luca and Yusuke can use blades downtown

Coco is allowed to use his knife and shuriken, if there is a Carriage Kid with him

Jack gets House trampoline laws

Kanon and Popono can go on the trampoline together

Luca has the House Trampoline laws

Zoëcan stand on Dining room tables to sing

Joshua can use his axe with Will and keep it in the Woodwork

Ty and Hugo can go to football training on Wednesday and stay with carriage kids until finished

Popono can sleep in House area twice a week

Orson has to clean his own room if he sleeps in

Orson can’t be on his bed from 08:30 –12:00

Boys Shack have Friday late night if they don’t break bedtime law in the week

Dawn doesn’t need to announce she is a smoker to have an occasional cigarette

Andresa can watch screens in the morning for her research project

Luca can’t borrow money

Clarissa /Amy can look after the community pin and white boards instead of doing work fine supervisor

Oscar can lend his bike but only when he is at school



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