...Care and Education in Communities"

A conference to celebrate the centenary of the Little Commonwealth and Homer Lane, and to reflect on the future of residential therapeutic child care and education with a group of leading practitioners, academics, writers and thinkers

November 9th, 2013




Welcomes and Introductions,with apologies from the audio technician for coming in late on Brother Hugh's very warm welcome:

Brother Hugh, SSF: Welcome to Hilfield Friary (site of the Little Commonwealth)

David Lane, Chair of CCHN - Marking the 5th anniversary of the Child Care History Network

Craig Fees: The conference: overview of the day

Judith Stinton: The Little Commonwealth (Introduction, leading to the Tour)


The Walking Tour

Judith Stinton, "Round the Houses": A walking tour of the Little Commonwealth buildings and site


Presentations: Session One

Michael Fielding, "Self-government, shared responsibility and the possibility of radical democratic education"

Albert Lamb, "The Rescue of Childhood: Homer Lane and A.S. Neill"

Brother Philip Bartholomew, SSF: St. Francis School, Hooke, and the place and role of Hilfield Friary and the Society of Saint Francis in community living, service, and education

Charles Sharpe, “Freedom cannot be given. It is taken by children and demands the privilege of conscious wrong-doing." Has Homer Lane's thesis space to be accommodated in the 21st century?


Planting the centenary celebration tree


Presentations: Session Two

Emily Charkin, "Building and Learning: Exploring the fundamentals of radical education and child care"

John Diamond, 'the children of the dangerous and perishing classes'


Afternoon Discussion Groups (not recorded)


Presentations: Session Three

David Gribble, "Similar ideas in dissimilar settings"

David Lane: Gathering thoughts of the Future: CCHN's next five years




After the Conference:

Various: Some responses and reflections on the Event

Ros Kane: Poem - "Does No One Remember A.S. Neill?"

Archives: A page from The Little Commonwealth Court Book


CCHN wishes to thank the Planned Environment Therapy Trust for its support of this conference.

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