Change that leads to better lives

Our Right to Inclusive Education: Perspectives from Young People, Families & Friends

This online session took place during NDTi’s Inclusive Education Festival, 15-19 March 2021. During the week, there were eight sessions to showcase great stories where inclusion really works and what needs to happen to ensure a more inclusive society.

Chaired by Dr Carol Robinson, in the final session of our Inclusive Education Festival we hear from young people and their families about what inclusion has meant for them:

  • Eleanor & Liz share how Eleanor went to a special school initially but didn’t feel it gave her the opportunities to make friends and be part of her community; so, Eleanor transferred to a mainstream secondary school. Liz talks about how strong leadership in her local area meant that people were willing to find a way to support Eleanor to be included. Eleanor had a circle of friends from early on which meant that she was always part of a peer group and enjoyed all of the activities in school and out in the community, from Brownies to Prom.
  • Ingrid & Wilf speak about how being included in mainstream provision set values that Wilf carried into his adult life. Wilf attended mainstream school and Further Education throughout, except for one period when he went to a special school. Wilf tells us that this made him feel sad and scared. Ingrid speaks about the value that Wilf’s peers gained from having him as a friend; and how the schools adopted a sense of acceptance and celebration of diversity which allowed Wilf to be himself. Wilf went on to do a supported internship and is now working as a Barista in a local community café. To watch a video about Wilf and his friends, please go to the Preparing for Adulthood website.
  • Sterre is Dutch and her family moved to London when she was 12 so she could go to a mainstream school and achieve her potential. In the Netherlands it was not possible to find a mainstream school for her to go attend. Sterre lives with her Personal Assistant, Hannah, and her gorgeous assistance dog, Merlot. When Sterre left school she went to a Further Education college where she achieved a level one award in performing arts and has now set up her own social enterprise theatre company called Act Up! Newham. Sterre communicates mostly using signs with some words. Sterre also goes into schools teaching children how to sign. Sterre and Hannah have supported NDTi and the Preparing for Adulthood Team with several presentations, and in 2019 did a trip to France to look at employment and opportunities for people with a learning disability as part of an Erasmus funded piece of work. For videos and stories about Sterre please go to the Preparing for Adulthood website.

Please note that some of the photographs and slides have not shown up in the recording, but the audio is clear.

If you’d like to be kept up to date about our work, please join our Inclusive Education Community here.

As this is a recording of a live, online session, the sound and picture quality may vary. To ensure quick sharing of the recordings, captions have not been added yet. If you require a transcript, please email

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