If I Could Change Something

Micheline Mason: Friendship is Key

Micheline Mason was born in 1950 in Kingston, Surrey. Micheline lived with her family in Croydon, Surrey, having home tuition until the age of thirteen when she left home to attend a residential special school in Hampshire. She then went on to Art college.

Here Micheline describes the school she would like to see.

  • Micheline Mason
  • Micheline Mason
  • Micheline Mason


The thing I think’s good about school is that they’re like young people’s communities. And they do take you outside your family. And families can be wonderful but they’re always limited, you know. So it’s always great to be part of a bigger world than that. So I always see a role for school, you know, that sort of idea, the idea of free education and all that still to me seems a fantastic thing. But I suppose I would like to see it not just so fixated on earning a living, you know, and creating a labour force for whatever happens to be needed at that particular time regardless of anything else. I’d like to see it child-centred and about learning in its full sense, you know. And developing your powers to think, critical thinking and creative thinking and collaborating with each other and learning about each other’s different histories and backgrounds.

Friendship is key. If there’s a reason that I would argue for inclusive education it’s that young people need to be facilitated to make friendships across the barriers that adults have created. And that can’t happen unless they’re all together, really. And all the rest of it is secondary. And it was certainly the thing missing from my childhood. Yeah, certainly it was. And you never get over it, not really.

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