Michelle Daly: Being Left Out

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 not being included in activities at her special school.


I remember there was a couple of occasions actually, there was a school trip to, these taxi ride trips to Maldon and I’d a couple of weeks just come home from hospital and I was in a plaster cast from my chest down, which meant I wasn’t able to sit up, so I was laid flat on a kind of a wheely chair, but it was a flat one. So everybody in the school bar the nursery would go on this trip and I wasn’t allowed to go on the trip because they said they wouldn’t manage me. My needs were too high to cope, to go on the trip. So I was put in the nursery for the whole day. I would have been about eight years old then And there’s another occasion I remember, was in PE. Not all PE activities I was allowed to take part in. They said it would be too risky for me to take part in the activities because the games they were playing could result in me injuring and fracturing my bones. So I had to sit on the sidelines, sit on the benches and watch the activity. Now, for me, and I’m sure there was other ones but these were the ones what have always stuck in my mind. For me, I was in a school that was meant to be geared up for someone with my needs, everything meant (should have been designed so) that I shouldn’t have been excluded and these are two examples of where the school have said that they couldn’t need my access needs. And the other one, I think, which would even be worse, was PE. Why would you do activities that would meant that I just would not be able to take part in? They could have easily designed a piece of work that I could have joined in.