Choosing School

Maresa MacKeith: One Day a Week

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 attending mainstream primary school, one day a week.


I only went in for one day a week and I craved to go in more, more often, they promised me to try and make this happen but it never did. I felt like I was on the edges of the school. I had a few friendships but they were hard to maintain with my not being there every day. I did feel more at ease there when I was in the school but it was hard to settle. Was it hard to settle because you were there just for that one day a week? Exactly. I was young and kept thinking it was because I didn’t belong there full time. I think the worst was the staff saying they would try to make it happen and it never happening. You remember the disappointment of that? Yes. Sometimes more than the positive aspects of being in a mainstream school. What were the positives of one day a week? It mainly was feeling like I belonged around other children who were not like me but were the same in terms of wanting to be around other children, their own age. Being at home often was isolating in terms of interacting with other children, so yes, definitely being around others of my own age.

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