Leaving School

Michelle Daly: Residential or Day Centre

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 the choices she was given on leaving school


Yeah, we had a career adviser. Just as you’re about, a couple of months before you’re about to leave school and they talked to you about the different options and there weren’t many options. It was residential or residential or the place was called Winchester Centre and that was a day centre which you could have gone to. There was an option that my family sourced out and that was for me to go to a college, it wasn’t local, cos the local college at the time wasn’t accessible, which meant I’d have been very dependent on other people to get me around, lift me up the stairs and that I didn’t want. So the college I did end up going to was Redbridge College. But the problem was the college wouldn’t accept me on the mainstream classes because I didn’t have any qualifications and they couldn’t guarantee that I would be able to keep up with the class, so I had to go into, it was doing what you might call one of these special education classes and I hated it, I had to stay in there for a whole year. And that’s just showing you, that's a result of what happened from my schooling. So the sort of things I had to do when I left school, at that college, was Maths, all the things that I should have done, English. It was basic Maths and basic English, had to do it and a CPVE. I had to do that for a year, that would allow me to get on to a BTEC. If I hadn’t done that for the year, I wouldn’t have been allowed to go on to a BTEC course and that was just to bring my English and Maths up. But also out of school my family spent a lot of time with me catching up. So after school I’d do about three to four hours reading and writing and doing lots and lots of work, just catching up, so that I would end up in one of the mainstream classes, which I kind of really, really worked hard to get into.