At the moment there are about 1000 schools around the world which call themselves democratic schools. The way democracy shows in these schools varies a lot starting from simple school meetings where students have a vote in certain issues to a complete democracy where students are involved in all decisions about their school including the budget, hiring and firing of teachers and the curriculum if there is any.
Democratic schools have been around since early 20th century staring from Summerhill school in England, which started in 1921 as a democratic boarding school, where lessons were optional. Another major school, Sudbury Valley School started in 1968 in Massachusettes, U.S. as a day school. Having no curriculum or no mandatory learning plans, grading or other structures usually found in schools, Sudbury Valley became another radical option. Only few schools have followed the boarding model of Summerhill, while several hundred schools have used the ideas of SVS or are more or less strictly based on the model.