School Culture

Maresa MacKeith: Special and Mainstream

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 the differences she found between special school and mainstream primary.


I feel like it is vague but there was more interest in a way from the teachers at the mainstream school. They were a bit scared, I think, of exactly who I was and how I looked on the surface but they wanted to know. In the special school, to be honest, I felt more like I was not really thought of with that same curiosity in terms of what I was capable of. They just seemed to class me with other students and not look at me individually.