Age Range

11-16 years

Opening Hours

Day school, Monday - Friday 9.15 - 4.30, term-time


Independent democratic day school for secondary age students in Devon.

Sands School is so different from the mainstream, it can be hard to know where to start to describe it.  It looks different – there is no uniform or even a dress-code for students.  It sounds different – there are no clanging bells or unnatural quietness.  But mainly it feels different – there is no “us and them” division between staff and students.

As a democratic school students and staff run the school through the weekly school meeting, making decisions together in a spirit of equality and mutual respect. There is no headteacher, everyone is called by their first name, meetings are chaired by students and the student council sorts out the day-to-day niggles of school life. In short, a democratic school puts students views at the centre of everything the school does.

Listening to what our students say has shaped how we learn and live together by:

  • Freedom of choice, by not making classes compulsory, students choose to learn the subjects that matter to them
  • Allowing students to go at their own pace in the classroom
  • Keeping class sizes small
  • Allowing students to sit exams when they are ready
  • Including practical life skills in the school day such as cooking, cleaning and managing a community
  • Valuing the students as physical and emotional beings not just as exam candidates
  • Embracing and making space for play
Contact Details
  • Sands School
  • TQ13 7AX
  • +44 (0) 1364 653 666
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