School Culture

Tara Flood: Do it Yourself

Tara was born in 1966 in Preston, Lancashire. She was sent to a residential special school in East Sussex at just sixteen months of age and remained there until she was sixteen. She then returned to Preston and attended a local mainstream college.

Here Tara describes a school culture of doing things for yourself, without even friends being allowed to help each other.

  • Tara Flood
  • Tara Flood
  • Tara Flood


From quite an early age there was a real – alongside this – the fixing you interventions. There was also a real heavy focus around doing everything for yourself, particularly personal care and dressing. And I remember groups of us used to have to sit there once we’d been got out of these cots – we were in these cots until we were transferred over to the school side, so, what, kind of six, seven? Yeah, weird. Once we’d got out of bed we were then sat on the floor, which was concrete flooring, with a pile of our clothes next to us. And I’d say the group that I used to sit regularly with, there was about five or six of us, boys and girls, and we were left to get on with it, essentially dress ourselves. And I remember the terror of being found out if we were caught helping each other. And for those kids that couldn’t, the humiliation around failure was just terrible.

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