Lack of Opportunity

Maresa MacKeith: An Awful Experience

Maresa was born in 1984 in Sheffield. She was adopted as a baby and moved to Nottingham. At age 5 she went to a special school and then left at age nine and attended mainstream primary and secondary schools from then on, with a year of home schooling between two secondary schools. She then attended a local college and went on to university.

Here Maresa talks about being isolated in a unit within a mainstream secondary school.


In no uncertain terms was, it was awful. I was put in a unit with glass windows. They did not believe in my communication system so would leave me in the unit and it was so lonely because the students all would walk past and laugh at me. Only because they didn't know how else to react. I feel like that time is one that scarred me and even today is a mix of a deep pain but also determination for doing what I can to express the feeling that isolation can have on a young person of any experience and to make it never happen like that again, which is a big challenge but it basically made me determined to fight for real inclusion and still is a trigger for my attitude today.

Explore more

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

A selection of other stories...