Self Managed Learning College
– including South Downs Learning Centre
17 Roman Road
Self Managed Learning College provides Self Managed Learning programmes for young people aged 7-16 as well as programmes for adults; work in schools promoting democratic modes; research; publications; collaboration with universities and international development programmes.
The South Downs Learning Centre operated for a number of years in a house in Brighton, England as part of Self Managed Learning College. However the number of students had to be limited due to space and now the work has been transferred to a new building in the centre of the city so that we can expand. Making the move has allowed us to drop the name ‘South Downs Learning Centre’ and we are just using Self Managed Learning College as our label.
Our programme for 7-16 year olds operates from 09.00 to 13.00 Monday to Friday in term-time. It is a fully-functioning learning community and not a school. There are no classrooms, no imposed lessons, no uniforms, no timetables imposed by adults (students write their own timetables). We find out about each student when they arrive and help them to come up with learning goals that are relevant to them. They are then supported in learning what they want. There are no limits on what students can learn apart from keeping within the rules agreed by the community.
Each morning there is a community meeting at which all relevant decisions are made. This meeting is chaired in rotation by a member of the learning community. Students have a base in a learning group of 6 students and one adult, acting as a learning assistant to support the group. This group meets every Friday so that each student can review how their learning has gone in the week and to consider what they may want to do next week.
Students may choose to take exams, if they wish (nothing is imposed) and they generally go on to college at 16.