Michelle Daly: A Bullying Hierarchy

Michelle was born in 1972 in Newham, London. She attended a local special school from age five until sixteen and then went on to a local mainstream college.

Here Michelle talks about the bullying that went on in her special school.

  • Michelle Daly
  • Michelle Daly


Certain children got favoured over other children and that was really, really bad and, in terms of bullying, I think there's a perception, when you think about why many parents send their children to a segregated school, they feel they're not gonna be bullied, you hear that they're less likely to be bullied if they're in a segregated school because children understand one another and they're gonna be more likely to get on and the teachers are more likely to understand their situation, but actually that's quite rubbish when you think about that.

There's also lots of hierarchy created in segregated schools so the ones who can, quote unquote, be seen as more 'normalised' who can walk and run and do certain things, they're more likely to bully the ones who are, how can I say this, more disabled so you have this hierarchy thing that goes on, and I think people don't actually get to see that and I don't think staff themselves know how to deal with it, and I think that at that time, I don't know now but I don't think they kind of know even now, you hear actually some disabled children saying they're getting bullied.

Explore more

Explore stories by theme or view the timeline of significant events in education for disabled people

A selection of other stories...